Origen, Contra Celsum 55:1 :
Curiously, the idea that the Suffering Servant of Isaiah allegorizes the same Israel “in a state of dispersion and suffering, in order that many proselytes might be gained, on account of the dispersion of the Jews among numerous heathen nations” is the same idea behind a (judaizing) interpretation of the Parable of Sower: the "Seed" is Israel, deliberately scattered by God (=YHWH) so that "many proselytes might be gained, on account of the dispersion of the Jews among numerous heathen nations".
It is not a coincidence, I think, that the Parable of Sower is precisely the one that requires an explicit profession of esoterism (Mark 4:11-12). The insiders knew that Jesus is only a personified Israel.
Hence, no wonder that this Jesus, allegorizing the fusion of Jews and Pagans in a new People, is a giant filling universe.
But how was a man derived from a people? Considered as distinct from the people? And considered as a “real” being “there out”?
The exasperated apocalypticism plays a decisive role, here.
Israel will return to his home (possibly, via the help by a new Joshua) only when there will be the greatest of the sins. The “Absolute Evil”.
Now there was a precedent, in the Scriptures, about the connection between what I call in my poor English as "Absolute Evil", "the greatest of the sins", "the climax/culmination of evil", and the crucifixion.
In the Book of Ester, the Absolute Evil is personified by Haman. He planned a extermination of Israel, but just when the evil reaches its climax, a crucifixion happens. The crucified is just.. ...Haman.
In the Gospels, the culmination of evil is the complete not-ability to distinguish the criminal Barabbas from the righteous Christ.
The crucifixion of a divine being was recommended as real to increase the hope that that same crucifixion will soon be inverted into its contrary: the resurrection of a divine being.
Hence the crucifixion is a resurrection/exaltation. It is a real Transfiguration: a sign of the divine Glory. It is a cosmic crucifixion.
The logical chain of cause-effect is therefore the following:
exsperated apocalypticism ----> need of the culmination of evil to see the his inversion in a maximum good -----> need of the death of a divine being ----> the his death = the his victory -----> the choice of the crucifixion as symbol of victory (new Tree of Life).
The cross was chosen as way of death for the divine being only after, and not before, the Christians had decided that the his death was really a victory.
This prevents a priori the same possibility of a historical Jesus. The historicists assume that the crucifixion was a mere accident of real History, only for apologetical reasons converted in a symbol of victory ("cognitive dissonance", etc).
But I think that the cross is too much connected with the idea of victory to figure only at the beginning, and not rather at the end, of the process of invention of the "reality" of a divine being.
The early Christians imagined before that the death was a victory, and only after they chose the crucifixion as the way of "death"/victory.
The insoluble dilemma of the historicists is the following: how could the crucifixion be a mere accident of History, when it was chosen clearly (=there is real evidence of it) as a descriptive symbol of victory, given already the idea of a victory behind an apparent defeat?
Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.
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Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.