Isaiah 53: As a single man was derived from a people

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Isaiah 53: As a single man was derived from a people

Post by Giuseppe » Sat Apr 27, 2019 9:01 am

Origen, Contra Celsum 55:1 :
Now I remember that, on one occasion, at a disputation held with certain Jews, who were reckoned wise men, I quoted these prophecies; to which my Jewish opponent replied, that these predictions bore reference to the whole people, regarded as one individual, and as being 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. And in this way he explained the words, Your form shall be of no reputation among men; and then, They to whom no message was sent respecting him shall see; and the expression, A man under suffering. Many arguments were employed on that occasion during the discussion to prove that these predictions regarding one particular person were not rightly applied by them to the whole nation. And I asked to what character the expression would be appropriate, This man bears our sins, and suffers pain on our behalf; and this, But He was wounded for our sins, and bruised for our iniquities; and to whom the expression properly belonged, By His stripes were we healed. For it is manifest that it is they who had been sinners, and had been healed by the Saviour's sufferings (whether belonging to the Jewish nation or converts from the Gentiles), who use such language in the writings of the prophet who foresaw these events, and who, under the influence of the Holy Spirit, applied these words to a person. But we seemed to press them hardest with the expression, Because of the iniquities of My people was He led away unto death. For if the people, according to them, are the subject of the prophecy, how is the man said to be led away to death because of the iniquities of the people of God, unless he be a different person from that people of God? And who is this person save Jesus Christ, by whose stripes they who believe in Him are healed, when He had spoiled the principalities and powers (that were over us), and had made a show of them openly on His cross? At another time we may explain the several parts of the prophecy, leaving none of them unexamined. But these matters have been treated at greater length, necessarily as I think, on account of the language of the Jew, as quoted in the work of Celsus.

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.

Genesis 15:16
16 In the fourth generation your descendants will come back here, for the sin of the Amorites has not yet reached its full measure.”

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”.

Matthew 23:32:
Go ahead, then, and complete what your ancestors started!

Barnabas 5:11

Therefore the Son of God came in the flesh to this end, that He might
sum up the complete tale of their sins against those who persecuted
and slew His prophets.

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?
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

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