Mark knew the Sheperd of Hermas therefore...

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Giuseppe
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Mark knew the Sheperd of Hermas therefore...

Post by Giuseppe » Thu Sep 05, 2019 7:50 am

Hermas is calling the Spirit as «beloved son» and «heir»:

2[55]:3 When then he had gone away, the servant took and fenced the vineyard; and having finished the fencing of the vineyard, he noticed that the vineyard was full of weeds.
2[55]:4 So he reasoned within himself, saying, "This command of my lord I have carried out I will next dig this vineyard, and it shall be neater when it is digged; and when it hath no weeds it will yield more fruit, because not choked by the weeds." He took and digged the vineyard, and all the weeds that were in the vineyard he plucked up. And that vineyard became very neat and flourishing, when it had no weeds to choke it.
2[55]:5 After a time the master of the servant [and of the estate] came, and he went into the vineyard. And seeing the vineyard fenced neatly, and digged as well, and [all] the weeds plucked up, and the vines flourishing, he rejoiced [exceedingly] at what his servant had done.
2[55]:6 So he called his beloved son, who was his heir, and the friends who were his advisers, and told them what he had commanded his servant, and how much he had found done. And they rejoiced with the servant at the testimony which his master had borne to him.

http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/t ... tfoot.html


But «Mark» (author) is calling the Jesus as «beloved son» and «heir»
Jesus then began to speak to them in parables: “A man planted a vineyard. He put a wall around it, dug a pit for the winepress and built a watchtower. Then he rented the vineyard to some farmers and moved to another place. 2 At harvest time he sent a servant to the tenants to collect from them some of the fruit of the vineyard. 3 But they seized him, beat him and sent him away empty-handed. 4 Then he sent another servant to them; they struck this man on the head and treated him shamefully. 5 He sent still another, and that one they killed. He sent many others; some of them they beat, others they killed.
6 “He had one left to send, a son, whom he loved. He sent him last of all, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’
7 “But the tenants said to one another, ‘This is the heir. Come, let’s kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.’ 8 So they took him and killed him, and threw him out of the vineyard.

(Mark 12:1-8)


Please, note the difference: Hermas didn't know Mark, but Mark knew Hermas.

Hence Mark was written after Hermas.

The Muratorian Canon (44) states the Shepherd was written when Hermas’s brother, Pius (traditionally dated c. 140—c. 154 CE), was the bishop of Rome.

Therefore Mark was written after that time.
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

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Secret Alias
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Re: Mark knew the Sheperd of Hermas therefore...

Post by Secret Alias » Thu Sep 05, 2019 2:10 pm

I know I will regret asking this but how do we know Hermas wasn't citing Mark?
“Finally, from so little sleeping and so much reading, his brain dried up and he went completely out of his mind.”
― Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Don Quixote

Giuseppe
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Re: Mark knew the Sheperd of Hermas therefore...

Post by Giuseppe » Thu Sep 05, 2019 8:46 pm

The regret is all mine. But the answer is here:

http://www.jesuspuzzle.com/jesuspuzzle/JAlietGDon.htm
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

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Re: Mark knew the Sheperd of Hermas therefore...

Post by Secret Alias » Thu Sep 05, 2019 9:32 pm

It's a massive amount to read that for the most part has nothing to do with our topic. Can't you summarize the relevant points?
“Finally, from so little sleeping and so much reading, his brain dried up and he went completely out of his mind.”
― Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Don Quixote

Giuseppe
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Re: Mark knew the Sheperd of Hermas therefore...

Post by Giuseppe » Thu Sep 05, 2019 9:43 pm



It is difficult to believe that this author could have possessed any sense of a Jesus on earth who began the Christian movement. Hermas treats the “church,” the body of believers, as a mystical entity. It is God himself who has created the church (Vision 1, 1:6), including its pre-existent prototype in heaven. There is constant reference to the “elect of God,” with no tradition in sight of a church established by Jesus. Nothing which could fit the Gospel ministry is referred to. The central section, the Commandments (or Mandates), discusses a great number of moral rules, some resembling the teachings of the Gospels, but to Jesus no attribution is ever made. The writer can speak of “apostles,” but never associate them with an historical figure who appointed them; there is no tradition of anything going back to such a figure. Instead, “apostles and teachers preach the name of the Son of God” (Parable 9, 16:5), in the same way that Paul and other Christian prophets preached the divine Christ.

The Son in the Shepherd

And who or what is the Son? The writer describes him in highly mystical language. He is older than all creation, the Father’s counselor (Parable 9, 12:1). He “supports the whole world” (14:5). Parable 9 tells of the building of a heavenly tower representing the church. The Son is the foundation rock and the gate; one cannot enter this tower, this Kingdom of God, except through his Son. All this is a reflection of that underlying concept encountered at every turn throughout the early Christian period: that God is known and accessible only through his emanations, through the intermediary Son. Salvation comes to those who are “called through his Son” (Parable 8, 11:1). Of a death and resurrection there is not a whisper in the entire document.

This Son, Parable 9 goes on to tell, “was made manifest” in the last days of the world: “phaneros egeneto,” he became known. Once again we meet the universal language of the earliest Christian writers: not a coming to earth to live a life as a human being in recent history, but a revelation by God today, in these last times before the End.

Hermas equates the Son with the Holy Spirit (Parable 9, 1:1, and in Parable 5 which we shall examine in detail below). This is the more traditional Jewish manner of speaking of the communicating aspect of God. Elsewhere (Parable 8, 3:2), it is the Jewish Law that is God’s Son. This writer has no sense of a Son with a distinct personality, biography or role separate from longstanding ways of thinking about God’s dealings with the world. He is part of the paraphernalia of heaven, the way Wisdom is in other circles of Jewish expression.

The Parable of the Son

Let’s take a closer look at the fifth Parable. Commentators claim to see an account both of the incarnation and of the ministry of Jesus. An angel has told Hermas a parable in which the servant of a rich landowner is given charge to tend a field. As the angel explains it, the field is the world, the landowner God, and the servant is the Son of God who labored in this field for the benefit of its plantings, the people of God. In chapter 6 the angel goes on to further elucidate the parable this way (K. Lake, in the Loeb Apostolic Fathers, volume 2):

“2God planted the vineyard, that is, created the people, and gave it over to his Son. And the Son…cleansed their sins, laboring much and undergoing much toil… 3When, therefore, he had cleansed the sins of the people, he showed them the ways of life and gave them the law which he received from his Father… 4But listen why the Lord took his Son and the glorious angels as counselors concerning the heritage [or heirs: see below] of the Servant. 5The Holy Spirit…did God make to dwell in the flesh which he willed [or chose]. This flesh in which the Holy Spirit dwelled served the Spirit well, walking in holiness and purity, and did not in any way defile the Spirit. 6When, therefore, it had lived nobly and purely, and had labored with the Spirit…he [God] chose it as companion with the Holy Spirit; for the conduct of this flesh pleased him, because it was not defiled while it was bearing the Holy Spirit on earth. 7Therefore he took the Son and the glorious angels as counselors, that this flesh, having served the Spirit blamelessly, should have some place of sojourn and not lose the reward of its service. For all flesh in which the Holy Spirit has dwelt shall receive a reward if it be found undefiled and spotless.”
F. L. Cross (op.cit., p.26) has called the author of the Shepherd “a man of no great intelligence,” and all who have studied this work speak of its “confusion.” The writing is often unclear, to say the least, and in this particular Parable there is a striking inconsistency between the parable itself and the explanation of it, which we need not go into. Even in the above passage there are obscurities between the Son, the Servant and the Holy Spirit which make analysis difficult. But let’s focus on some key points.
If the author is familiar with even a general concept of Jesus’ historical life and death, why in verse 3 does the Son’s “cleansing of the sins of the people” precede his “showing them the ways of life and giving them the Law”? The “cleansing” is through the labor and toil spoken of in verse 2, but neither here nor anywhere else is this put in terms of suffering and atonement, let alone a death and resurrection. As for “giving them the Law,” this is clearly through spiritual channels, for a later Parable states that the angel Michael (who in Parable 9 is equated with the Son of God) has “put the Law into the hearts of those who believe.” There is no preaching by an historical Son in evidence anywhere in this work, and in the above Parable such things as vineyards and toil are best seen as a symbolic description of the workings of God through his intermediaries.

To find a reference to the incarnation in verses 5 to 7 is to draw water from a stone. First of all, despite an identification of the Son with the Holy Spirit in Parable 9 (which is often regarded as a later layer of this work by a different writer), there is in Parable 5 no obvious link between the Son and the Spirit; in fact, verses 4 and 7a make them distinct. It seems, therefore, that it was not the Son who was sent to dwell in flesh. Verse 7 further fails to link the Son with the “flesh” under discussion. In any event, the manner in which this flesh is spoken of cannot fit an incarnate Christ’s human side, unless it be given a peculiarly gnostic interpretation which is nowhere in evidence in this book. Instead, it has a decidedly ‘human’ character, in the sense that the writer is speaking here of ordinary human beings.

Thus, there is no thought of incarnation in this passage. The writer is speaking of the Holy Spirit being sent by God to dwell in certain humans. Such men and women are those who stay pure and holy, who do not defile the Spirit while it dwells in them; they will be given a place of sojourn as a reward. The “all flesh” of verse 7b shows that the writer does not have the specific flesh of an incarnate Christ in mind. Besides, Christ’s human side hardly enjoys a continued existence after his incarnation so that it can be given a reward.

Such an interpretation requires one simple adjustment. In verse 4, Lake and others give the word “klêronomia” the usual translation of “heritage” or “inheritance” as though the writer is about to detail the fate of the servant who in the parable is identified as the Son. But as Bauer’s Lexicon points out, a word like this can be given an abstract translation, so that here it may signify those who receive the inheritance. In other words, the writer is about to describe the rewards received by the heirs of the servant/Son, namely the believers in whom God has sent the Holy Spirit to dwell.

This interpretation is hardly a leap of faith or wishful thinking. For the writer in the next chapter (7) goes on to spell it out for us. I need only quote part of the first three verses:

“Listen, now,” (the angel) said. “Guard this flesh of yours, pure and undefiled, that the Spirit which dwells in it may bear it witness, and your flesh may be justified… For if you defile your flesh you defile also the Holy Spirit, and if you defile the flesh you shall not live.”
Only the need to find some trace of Christian orthodoxy somewhere in this book would lead to a failure to make the obvious connection between these verses and the meaning of those which have immediately preceded them. Nor does the writer give us any indication that he is drawing some kind of parallel between the believers and the incarnated Christ. The “flesh” spoken of in chapter 6 is not that of Christ on earth, but of the believers whom the writer is addressing. In sum, the longest early Christian document in existence presents us with a divine Son who is never referred to by the names Jesus or Christ, is never said to have died or risen, and who never shows sign of having been to earth.
The “confusion” the scholars speak of in Hermas is not that of the author but rather is a product of the attempt to impose the Gospel background on him. This writer is rooted in Hellenistic-Jewish mythology with its picture of a heaven in which different forces form part of the workings of divinity. The Son is one figure in the class photo which includes the Holy Spirit and angels of several ranks, and these are occasionally allowed to merge into one another. The Son sometimes seems identified with other figures, and angels such as Michael are at times involved in the work of redemption. As Charles Talbert puts it (“The Myth of a Descending-Ascending Redeemer in Mediterranean Antiquity,” New Testament Studies 1975, p.432), “the Savior is described basically in terms of an angelology which has coalesced with the categories of Son and Spirit.” Talbert’s choice of the word “category” is perceptive, for Hermas is dealing with philosophical concepts here, not a historical figure who was God’s incarnation. Had he possessed any idea of the Son as a human personality who had walked the earth in recent memory, suffered and died and resurrected to redeem humanity, he could never have buried him in this densely obscure heavenly construct and allowed the entire picture ‘recorded’ in the Gospels to evaporate into the mystical wind.

http://www.jesuspuzzle.com/jesuspuzzle/supp12One.htm (my bold)
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

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Re: Mark knew the Sheperd of Hermas therefore...

Post by theeternaliam » Fri Sep 06, 2019 12:07 am

Giuseppe wrote:
Thu Sep 05, 2019 7:50 am
Hermas is calling the Spirit as «beloved son» and «heir»:

2[55]:3 When then he had gone away, the servant took and fenced the vineyard; and having finished the fencing of the vineyard, he noticed that the vineyard was full of weeds.
2[55]:4 So he reasoned within himself, saying, "This command of my lord I have carried out I will next dig this vineyard, and it shall be neater when it is digged; and when it hath no weeds it will yield more fruit, because not choked by the weeds." He took and digged the vineyard, and all the weeds that were in the vineyard he plucked up. And that vineyard became very neat and flourishing, when it had no weeds to choke it.
2[55]:5 After a time the master of the servant [and of the estate] came, and he went into the vineyard. And seeing the vineyard fenced neatly, and digged as well, and [all] the weeds plucked up, and the vines flourishing, he rejoiced [exceedingly] at what his servant had done.
2[55]:6 So he called his beloved son, who was his heir, and the friends who were his advisers, and told them what he had commanded his servant, and how much he had found done. And they rejoiced with the servant at the testimony which his master had borne to him.

http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/t ... tfoot.html


But «Mark» (author) is calling the Jesus as «beloved son» and «heir»
Jesus then began to speak to them in parables: “A man planted a vineyard. He put a wall around it, dug a pit for the winepress and built a watchtower. Then he rented the vineyard to some farmers and moved to another place. 2 At harvest time he sent a servant to the tenants to collect from them some of the fruit of the vineyard. 3 But they seized him, beat him and sent him away empty-handed. 4 Then he sent another servant to them; they struck this man on the head and treated him shamefully. 5 He sent still another, and that one they killed. He sent many others; some of them they beat, others they killed.
6 “He had one left to send, a son, whom he loved. He sent him last of all, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’
7 “But the tenants said to one another, ‘This is the heir. Come, let’s kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.’ 8 So they took him and killed him, and threw him out of the vineyard.

(Mark 12:1-8)


Please, note the difference: Hermas didn't know Mark, but Mark knew Hermas.

Hence Mark was written after Hermas.

The Muratorian Canon (44) states the Shepherd was written when Hermas’s brother, Pius (traditionally dated c. 140—c. 154 CE), was the bishop of Rome.

Therefore Mark was written after that time.
They could easily both be referring to a similar tradition of God having a beloved Son and heir.

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Re: Mark knew the Sheperd of Hermas therefore...

Post by Giuseppe » Fri Sep 06, 2019 12:56 am

theeternaliam wrote:
Fri Sep 06, 2019 12:07 am
They could easily both be referring to a similar tradition of God having a beloved Son and heir.
It is not that the impossible coincidence. The impossible coincidence is that they both use these terms in a parable, only with a different content and subject.
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

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Re: Mark knew the Sheperd of Hermas therefore...

Post by MrMacSon » Fri Sep 06, 2019 1:17 am

More fully, -

The Shepherd of Hermas, Parable 5

2[55]:1 "Hear the parable which I shall tell thee relating to fasting.

2[55]:2 A certain man had an estate, and many slaves, and a portion of his estate he planted as a vineyard; and choosing out a certain slave who was trusty and well-pleasing (and) held in honor, he called him to him and saith unto him; "Take this vineyard [which I have planted], and fence it [till I come], but do nothing else to the vineyard. Now keep this my commandment, and thou shalt be free in my house." Then the master of the servant went away to travel abroad.

2[55]:3 When then he had gone away, the servant took and fenced the vineyard; and having finished the fencing of the vineyard, he noticed that the vineyard was full of weeds.

2[55]:4 So he reasoned within himself, saying, "This command of my lord I have carried out I will next dig this vineyard, and it shall be neater when it is digged; and when it hath no weeds it will yield more fruit, because not choked by the weeds." He took and digged the vineyard, and all the weeds that were in the vineyard he plucked up. And that vineyard became very neat and flourishing, when it had no weeds to choke it.

2[55]:5 After a time the master of the servant [and of the estate] came, and he went into the vineyard. And seeing the vineyard fenced neatly, and digged as well, and [all] the weeds plucked up, and the vines flourishing, he rejoiced [exceedingly] at what his servant had done.

2[55]:6 So he called his beloved son, who was his heir, and the friends who were his advisers, and told them what he had commanded his servant, and how much he had found done. And they rejoiced with the servant at the testimony which his master had borne to him.

2[55]:7 And he saith to them; "I promised this servant his freedom, if he should keep the commandment which I commanded him; but he kept my commandment and did a good work besides to my vineyard, and pleased me greatly. For this work therefore which he has done, I desire to make him joint-heir with my son, because, when the good thought struck him, he did not neglect it, but fulfilled it."

2[55]:8 In this purpose the son of the master agreed with him, that the servant should be made joint-heir with the son.

2[55]:9 After some few days, his master made a feast, and sent to him many dainties from the feast. But when the servant received [the dainties sent to him by the master], he took what was sufficient for him, and distributed the rest to his fellow servants.

2[55]:10 And his fellow-servants, when they received the dainties, rejoiced, and began to pray for him, that he might find greater favor with the master, because he had treated them so handsomely.

2[55]:11 All these things which had taken place his master heard, and again rejoiced greatly at his deed. So the master called together again his friends and his son, and announced to them the deed that he had done with regard to his dainties which he had received; and they still more approved of his resolve, that his servant should be made joint-heir with his son."

3[56]:1 I say, "Sir, I understand not these parables, neither can I apprehend them, unless thou explain them for me."

3[56]:2 "I will explain everything to thee," saith he; "and will show thee whatsoever things I shall speak with thee. Keep the commandments of the Lord, and thou shalt be well-pleasing to God, and shalt be enrolled among the number of them that keep His commandments.

< .. snip ..>

5[58]:2 The estate is this world, and the lord of the estate is He that created all things, and set them in order, and endowed them with power; and the servant is the Son of God, and the vines are this people whom He Himself planted;

5[58]:3 and the fences are the [holy] angels of the Lord who keep together His people; and the weeds, which are plucked up from the vineyard, are the transgressions of the servants of God; and the dainties which He sent to him from the feast are the commandments which He gave to His people through His Son; and the friends and advisers are the holy angels which were first created; and the absence of the master is the time which remaineth over until His coming."
.


Then what could be interpreted as much if not more as pre-Christian theology as Christian theology, given the preceding section/s, -

.
6[59]:1 "Listen," said he; "the Son of God is not represented in the guise of a servant, but is represented in great power and lordship" ...

6[59]:2 ... saith he, "God planted the vineyard, that is, He created the people, and delivered them over to His Son. And the Son placed the angels in charge of them, to watch over them; and the Son Himself cleansed their sins, by laboring much and enduring many toils; for no one can dig without toil or labor.

6[59]:3 Having Himself then cleansed the sins of His people, He showed them the paths of life, giving them the law which He received from His Father. Thou seest," saith he, "that He is Himself Lord of the people, having received all power from His Father.

6[59]:4 But how that the lord took his son and the glorious angels as advisers concerning the inheritance of the servant, listen.

6[59]:5 The Holy Pre-existent Spirit, [w]hich created the whole creation, God made to dwell in flesh that He desired. This flesh, therefore, in which the Holy Spirit dwelt, was subject unto the Spirit, walking honorably in holiness and purity, without in any way defiling the Spirit.

6[59]:6 When then it had lived honorably in chastity, and had labored with the Spirit, and had cooperated with it in everything, behaving itself boldly and bravely, He chose it as a partner with the Holy Spirit; for the career of this flesh pleased [the Lord], seeing that, as possessing the Holy Spirit, it was not defiled upon the earth.

6[59]:7 He therefore took the son as adviser and the glorious angels also, that this 'flesh' too, having served the Spirit unblamably, might have some 'place of sojourn', and might not seem to hare [have?] lost the reward for its service; for all flesh, which is found undefiled and unspotted, wherein the Holy Spirit dwelt, shall receive a reward.

6[59]:8 Now thou hast the interpretation of this parable also."

7[60]:1 "I was right glad, Sir," say I, "to hear this interpretation." "Listen now," saith he, "Keep this thy flesh pure and undefiled, that the Spirit which dwelleth in it may bear witness to it, and thy flesh may be justified.

7[60]:2 See that it never enter into thine heart that this flesh of thine is perishable, and so thou abuse it in some defilement. [For] if thou defile thy flesh, thou shalt defile the Holy Spirit also; [and?] if thou defile the flesh, thou shalt not live."
.


Mark 12 (NRSV), -

.
[starts with The Parable of the Wicked Tenants]

1 Then he began to speak to them in parables. “A man planted a vineyard, put a fence around it, dug a pit for the wine press, and built a watchtower; then he leased it to tenants and went to another country.

2 When the season came, he sent a slave to the tenants to collect from them his share of the produce of the vineyard. 3 But they seized him, and beat him, and sent him away empty-handed. 4 And again he sent another slave to them; this one they beat over the head and insulted. 5 Then he sent another, and that one they killed. And so it was with many others; some they beat, and others they killed.

6 He had still one other, a beloved son. Finally he sent him to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ 7 But those tenants said to one another, ‘This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.’ 8 So they seized him, killed him, and threw him out of the vineyard.


Then there are both Jewish and pro-imperial dimensions, -

9 What then will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and destroy the tenants and give the vineyard to others. 10 Have you not read this scripture:

‘The stone that the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone/keystone;

11 this was the Lord’s doing,
and it is amazing in our eyes’?” [Psalm 118:22]

12 When they realized that he had told this parable against them, they wanted to arrest him, but they feared the crowd. So they left him and went away.

13 Then they sent to him some Pharisees and some Herodians to trap him in what he said.

14 And they came and said to him, “Teacher, we know that you are sincere, and show deference to no one; for you do not regard people with partiality, but teach the way of God in accordance with truth. Is it lawful to pay taxes to the emperor, or not? 15 Should we pay them, or should we not?”

But knowing their hypocrisy, he said to them, “Why are you putting me to the test? Bring me a denarius and let me see it.”

16 And they brought one. Then he said to them, “Whose head is this, and whose title?” They answered, “The emperor’s.”

17 Jesus said to them, “Give to the emperor the things that are the emperor’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” And they were utterly amazed at him.

18 Some Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to him and asked him a question ...


Then back to theology, with references to commandments, -

28 One of the scribes came near and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, he asked him, “Which commandment is the first of all?”

29 Jesus answered, “The first is, ‘Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one; 30 you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”


Then back to Jewish theology, with the Messiah as the son of David, -

35 While Jesus was teaching in the temple, he said, “How can the scribes say that the Messiah/Christ is the son of David? 36 David himself, by the Holy Spirit, declared,

‘The Lord said to my Lord,
“Sit at my right hand,
until I put your enemies under your feet.”’

37 David himself calls him Lord; so how can he be his son?” And the large crowd was listening to him with delight.


But then the Jewish scribes are dissed, -

38 As he taught, he said, “Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes, and to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces, 39 and to have the best seats in the synagogues and places of honor at banquets! 40 They devour widows’ houses and for the sake of appearance say long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation.”


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Re: Mark knew the Sheperd of Hermas therefore...

Post by MrMacSon » Fri Sep 06, 2019 2:27 am

Giuseppe wrote:
Thu Sep 05, 2019 9:43 pm

< ... snip ... >
-- II --
The Shepherd of Hermas

The Parable of the Son

Let’s take a closer look at the fifth Parable. Commentators claim to see an account both of the incarnation and of the ministry of Jesus. An angel has told Hermas a parable in which the servant of a rich landowner is given charge to tend a field. As the angel explains it, the field is the world, the landowner God, and the servant is the Son of God1 who labored in this field for the benefit of its plantings, the people of God.

In chapter 6 the angel goes on to further elucidate the parable this way (K. Lake, in the Loeb Apostolic Fathers, volume 2):

“2 God planted the vineyard, that is, created the people, and gave it over to his Son
1. And the Son1 … cleansed their sins, laboring much and undergoing much toil… 3 When, therefore, he had cleansed the sins of the people, he showed them the ways of life and gave them the law which he received from his Father… 4 But listen why the Lord took 'his Son' 1 and the glorious angels as counselors concerning the heritage [or heirs: see below] of the Servant. 5 The Holy Spirit…did God make to dwell in the flesh which he willed [or chose]. This flesh in which the Holy Spirit dwelled served the Spirit well, walking in holiness and purity, and did not in any way defile the Spirit. 6 When, therefore, it had lived nobly and purely, and had labored with the Spirit…he [God] chose it as companion with the Holy Spirit; for the conduct of this flesh pleased him, because it was not defiled while it was bearing the Holy Spirit on earth. 7 Therefore he took the Son and the glorious angels as counselors, that this flesh, having served the Spirit blamelessly, should have some place of sojourn and not lose the reward of its service. For all flesh in which the Holy Spirit has dwelt shall receive a reward if it be found undefiled and spotless.”

F. L. Cross (op.cit., p.26) has called the author of the Shepherd “a man of no great intelligence,” and all who have studied this work speak of its “confusion.”
The writing is often unclear, to say the least, and in this particular Parable there is a striking inconsistency between the parable itself and the explanation of it, which we need not go into. Even in the above passage there are obscurities between the Son, the Servant and the Holy Spirit which make analysis difficult. But let’s focus on some key points.

If the author is familiar with even a general concept of Jesus’ historical life and death, why in verse 3 does the Son’s “cleansing of the sins of the people” precede his “showing them the ways of life and giving them the Law” ?? The “cleansing” is through the labor and toil spoken of in verse 2, but neither here nor anywhere else is this put in terms of suffering and atonement, let alone a death and resurrection. As for “giving them the Law,” this is clearly through spiritual channels, for a later Parable states that the angel Michael (who in Parable 9 is equated with the Son of God) has “put the Law into the hearts of those who believe.” There is no preaching by an historical Son in evidence anywhere in this work, and in the above Parable such things as vineyards and toil are best seen as a symbolic description of the workings of God through his intermediaries.

To find a reference to the incarnation in verses 5 to 7 is to draw water from a stone. First of all, despite an identification of the Son with the Holy Spirit in Parable 9 (which is often regarded as a later layer of this work by a different writer), there is in Parable 5 no obvious link between the Son and the Spirit; in fact, verses 4 and 7a make them distinct. It seems, therefore, that it was not the Son who was sent to dwell in flesh. Verse 7 further fails to link the Son with the “flesh” under discussion. In any event, the manner in which this flesh is spoken of cannot fit an incarnate Christ’s human side, unless it be given a peculiarly gnostic interpretation which is nowhere in evidence in this book. Instead, it has a decidedly ‘human’ character, in the sense that the writer is speaking here of ordinary human beings.

Thus, there is no thought of incarnation in this passage. The writer is speaking of the Holy Spirit being sent by God to dwell in certain humans. Such men and women are those who stay pure and holy, who do not defile the Spirit while it dwells in them; they will be given a place of sojourn as a reward. The “all flesh” of verse 7b shows that the writer does not have the specific flesh of an incarnate Christ in mind. Besides, Christ’s human side hardly enjoys a continued existence after his incarnation so that it can be given a reward.

Such an interpretation requires one simple adjustment. In verse 4, Lake and others give the word “klêronomia” the usual translation of “heritage” or “inheritance” as though the writer is about to detail the fate of the servant who in the parable is [eventually] identified as the [a] Son. But, as Bauer’s Lexicon points out, a word like this can be given an abstract translation, so that here it may signify those who receive the inheritance. In other words, the writer is about to describe the rewards received by the heirs of the servant / [who becomes] Son; namely, the believers in whom God has sent the Holy Spirit to dwell.

This interpretation is hardly a leap of faith or wishful thinking. For the writer in the next chapter (7) goes on to spell it out for us. I need only quote part of the first three verses:

“Listen, now,” (the angel) said. “Guard this flesh of yours, pure and undefiled, that the Spirit which dwells in it may bear it witness, and your flesh may be justified… For if you defile your flesh you defile also the Holy Spirit, and if you defile the flesh you shall not live.”

Only the need to find some trace of Christian orthodoxy somewhere in this book would lead to a failure to make the obvious connection between these verses and the meaning of those which have immediately preceded them. Nor does the writer give us any indication that he is drawing some kind of parallel between the believers and the incarnated Christ. The “flesh” spoken of in chapter 6 is not that of Christ on earth, but of the believers whom the writer is addressing. In sum, the longest early [or pre-] Christian document in existence presents us with a divine [new] Son who is never referred to by the names Jesus or Christ, is never said to have died or risen, and who never shows sign of having been to earth.

The “confusion” the scholars speak of 'in Hermas' is not that of the author but, rather, is a product of the attempt to impose the Gospel background on him. This writer is rooted in Hellenistic-Jewish mythology with its picture of a heaven in which different forces form part of the workings of divinity. The Son is one figure in the class photo which includes the Holy Spirit and angels of several ranks, and these are occasionally allowed to merge into one another.2 The Son sometimes seems identified with other figures, and angels such as Michael are at times involved in the work of redemption.[/size]

As Charles Talbert puts it (“The Myth of a Descending-Ascending Redeemer in Mediterranean Antiquity,” New Testament Studies 1975, p.432), “the Savior is described basically in terms of an angelology which has coalesced with the categories of Son and Spirit.”

Talbert’s choice of the word “category” is perceptive, for Hermas is dealing with philosophical concepts here, not a historical figure who was God’s incarnation. Had [Hermas] possessed any idea of the Son as a human personality who had walked the earth in recent memory, suffered and died, and [been] resurrected to redeem humanity, he [w]ould never have buried him in this densely obscure heavenly construct and allowed the entire picture ‘recorded’ in the Gospels to evaporate into the mystical wind.

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http://www.jesuspuzzle.com/jesuspuzzle/supp12One.htm
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1 I think this is wrong: I don't think the servant was God's son initially.

As stated in '2[55]:7', -

And he saith to them; "I promised this servant his freedom, if he should keep the commandment which I commanded him. He kept my commandment and did a good work besides to my vineyard, and pleased me greatly. For this work therefore which he has done, I desire to make him joint-heir with my son, because, when the good thought struck him, he did not neglect it, but [he] fulfilled it."

2[55]:8 In this purpose the son of the master agreed with him, that the servant should be made joint-heir with the son.

2[55]:9 After some few days, his master made a feast, and sent to him many dainties from the feast. But when the servant ... took what was sufficient for him, and distributed the rest to his fellow servants.


2 as happens in Jewish texts


The quote from Charles Talbert, which I have highlighted, I think basically nails what is going on in Shepherd of Hermas, although it might be more
  • 'the Savior is described as developing through an angelology which coalesces the categories of Son, Spirit, Holy Spirit, and Servant'

I wonder if significant aspects of the collection of entities in Parable 5 could give rise to or be equated with the Christian concept of the Trinity ...


[this post was edited several times in the first 45 minutes after first being posted]
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theeternaliam
Posts: 58
Joined: Fri Aug 30, 2019 6:33 am

Re: Mark knew the Sheperd of Hermas therefore...

Post by theeternaliam » Fri Sep 06, 2019 5:43 am

Giuseppe wrote:
Fri Sep 06, 2019 12:56 am
theeternaliam wrote:
Fri Sep 06, 2019 12:07 am
They could easily both be referring to a similar tradition of God having a beloved Son and heir.
It is not that the impossible coincidence. The impossible coincidence is that they both use these terms in a parable, only with a different content and subject.
But that still doesn't imply any text came first. Couldn't it be that Jesus Christ actually spoke this parable? And perhaps He would alter His parables depending on his audience.

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