Peter in the Clementine Homilies Does Not Accept the Sacredness of the Pentateuch

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Secret Alias
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Re: Peter in the Clementine Homilies Does Not Accept the Sacredness of the Pentateuch

Post by Secret Alias » Fri Apr 24, 2020 4:56 pm

This is insane. What was the attitude of the group which wrote the ur-text to the Clementine literature. Answer: they were unlike the group described by Irenaeus. They had very strange ideas about the Torah. End of story
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Re: Peter in the Clementine Homilies Does Not Accept the Sacredness of the Pentateuch

Post by John2 » Fri Apr 24, 2020 6:25 pm

Secret Alias wrote:
Fri Apr 24, 2020 4:56 pm
This is insane. What was the attitude of the group which wrote the ur-text to the Clementine literature. Answer: they were unlike the group described by Irenaeus. They had very strange ideas about the Torah. End of story

I disagree with respect to the portion of the Recognitions that is thought to be Ebionite (1.27-71). In this section they believe in one God, and revere the Torah and Jerusalem even though they no longer believed in the Temple or sacrifice, as per 1.38:

... they erected a temple in the place which had been appointed to them for prayer ...



Cf. Irenaeus:

... they even adore Jerusalem as if it were the house of God ...

And they regard circumcision with respect in 1.34:

Others settled in Arabia, of whose posterity some also have spread into Egypt. From them some of the Indians and of the Egyptians have learned to be circumcised, and to be of purer observance than others ...

Cf. Irenaeus:

... they practice circumcision ...

And they believe the world was created by God, as per 1.27:

In the beginning, when God had made the heaven and the earth ...

Cf. Irenaeus:

Those who are called Ebionites agree that the world was made by God ...

And they revere the Torah, again aside from sacrifice in response to the destruction of the Temple, though even in that case they justified its existence prior to the destruction of the Temple, as per 1.34, 35 and 37:

Meantime they came to Mount Sinai, and thence the law was given to them with voices and sights from heaven, written in ten precepts, of which the first and greatest was that they should worship God Himself alone, and not make to themselves any appearance or form to worship.
When meantime Moses, that faithful and wise steward, perceived that the vice of sacrificing to idols had been deeply ingrained into the people from their association with the Egyptians, and that the root of this evil could not be extracted from them, he allowed them indeed to sacrifice, but permitted it to be done only to God, that by any means he might cut off one half of the deeply ingrained evil, leaving the other half to be corrected by another, and at a future time ...
In addition to these things,he also appointed a place in which alone it should be lawful to them to sacrifice to God. And all this was arranged with this view, that when the fitting time should come, and they should learn by means of the Prophet that God desires mercy and not sacrifice ...

This is similar to the understanding of the Torah by non-Orthodox Jewish sects today, which nevertheless use and have reference for and find meaning in all of the Torah. In my view the Ebionite faction of Jewish Christianity (at least after 70 CE) were "Reform" or "Conservative" Jewish Christians and the Nazarenes were "Orthodox" (and whatever their understanding of the Torah, all Jewish sects were in the same boat after 70 CE as far as not being able to offer sacrifices goes, just like today). In other words, the Ebionite attitude towards sacrifice didn't make them any less Jewish or Torah-reverent than the Nazarenes or Rabbinic Jews.

And when Irenaeus says that they "persevere in the observance of those customs which are enjoined by the law," as far as sacrifice goes, not even the Nazarenes (or Rabbinic Jews) were able to "persevere in the observance" of those laws at the time he was writing. So what I gather he means by this then is that they were Jewish, i.e., they observed Jewish "customs," i.e, the kinds of things that other Jews did after 70 CE.

So yes, I would say that Rec. 1.27-71 reflects Ebionite beliefs in accordance with Irenaeus.
Last edited by John2 on Fri Apr 24, 2020 7:01 pm, edited 9 times in total.
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Re: Peter in the Clementine Homilies Does Not Accept the Sacredness of the Pentateuch

Post by Secret Alias » Fri Apr 24, 2020 6:34 pm

Thanks Steve. You demonstrate who you are by never allowing yourself to contradict the Church Fathers or say they are in error. WASTE OF TIME. The document was clearly written by someone who didn't hold normative Jewish beliefs UNLIKE the Ebionites of Irenaeus
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Re: Peter in the Clementine Homilies Does Not Accept the Sacredness of the Pentateuch

Post by John2 » Fri Apr 24, 2020 6:46 pm

Secret Alias wrote:
Fri Apr 24, 2020 6:34 pm
Thanks Steve. You demonstrate who you are by never allowing yourself to contradict the Church Fathers or say they are in error. WASTE OF TIME. The document was clearly written by someone who didn't hold normative Jewish beliefs UNLIKE the Ebionites of Irenaeus

If by "document" you mean Rec. 1.27-71 then that doesn't seem clear to me.
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Re: Peter in the Clementine Homilies Does Not Accept the Sacredness of the Pentateuch

Post by Secret Alias » Sat Apr 25, 2020 6:11 am

I mean that someone or some group produced a text which was the story shared between Homilies and Recognitions - basically conforming to the notion that Clement heard Barnabas speak in Rome and followed him to Alexandria and then Judea ultimately meeting Peter and watching him combat Simon Magus. The document's provenance is inevitably described as 'Jewish Christian' or Ebionite. But clearly this 'Jewish Christianity' or Ebionite starting point is at odds with anything resembling Irenaeus's description of Jewish Christianity or Ebionisim insofar as he basically says that the Ebionites had typically Jewish attitudes toward the Law and the ur-text beneath the Clementine story does not. Fuck.
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Re: Peter in the Clementine Homilies Does Not Accept the Sacredness of the Pentateuch

Post by John2 » Sat Apr 25, 2020 2:44 pm

Secret Alias wrote:
Sat Apr 25, 2020 6:11 am
I mean that someone or some group produced a text which was the story shared between Homilies and Recognitions - basically conforming to the notion that Clement heard Barnabas speak in Rome and followed him to Alexandria and then Judea ultimately meeting Peter and watching him combat Simon Magus. The document's provenance is inevitably described as 'Jewish Christian' or Ebionite. But clearly this 'Jewish Christianity' or Ebionite starting point is at odds with anything resembling Irenaeus's description of Jewish Christianity or Ebionisim insofar as he basically says that the Ebionites had typically Jewish attitudes toward the Law and the ur-text beneath the Clementine story does not. Fuck.

But the ur-text (i.e., Grundschrift) is generally thought to have used earlier sources, including those that are thought to be Ebionite. And as I've been showing, what is thought to be the Ebionite source that is used in book one of the Recognitions (1.27-71) corresponds with what Irenaeus says about Ebionites. In fact, the more I look at it the more I could be persuaded that Irenaeus got his information about Ebionites from something like this source.

And the rejection of animal sacrifice and its replacement with baptism and prayer in Rec. 1.27-71 seems like a "typical" Jewish attitude towards the Torah to me, if you count Rabbinic Judaism and the Dead Sea Scrolls as typical.

Some biblical and classical rabbinic sources hold that most or all sacrifices will not need to be offered.

In the future all sacrifices, with the exception of the Thanksgiving-sacrifice, will be discontinued. (Midrash Vayikra Rabbah 9:7)

All sacrifices will be annulled in the future. (Tanchuma Emor 14, Vayikra Rabbah 9:7)

Then the grain-offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to God as in the days of old, and as in ancient years. (Malachi 3:4)

It is impossible to go suddenly from one extreme to the other; ...the custom which was in those days general among all men, and the general mode of worship in which the Israelites were brought up consisted of sacrificing animals in the temples... For this reason God allowed this kind of service to continue. The sacrificial system is not the primary object, rather supplications, and prayer. (Maimonides, The Guide to the Perplexed III 32)

The majority view of classical rabbis is that the Torah's commandments will still be applicable and in force during the messianic era. However, a significant minority of rabbis held that most of the commandments will be nullified in the messianic era, thus holding that sacrifices will not be reinstated.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Korban#Li ... sacrifices



And as Swarup notes, the Community Rule of the Dead Sea Scrolls describes:

... the community as the true temple. Within this temple formed by the community a life of perfect obedience to the law would take the place of sacrifice. Prayer and right behavior would be efficacious for atonement instead of sacrifice.


https://www.google.com/books/edition/Th ... frontcover

In fact (and to your apparent ever consternation), I think some of the Dead Sea Scrolls could have been written by what I call proto-Ebionites and that the post-70 CE Ebionite rejection of sacrifice could be an extension of this spiritualized Temple idea in the DSS.

But I agree that there are other parts of the Clementine writings that have less "typically Jewish attitudes towards the Law," but I see that as being due (in part) to later "way out" Ebionite beliefs of the sort Epiphanius mentions (which I reckon could be due in part to the influence of Elchasaites, like he says).
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Re: Peter in the Clementine Homilies Does Not Accept the Sacredness of the Pentateuch

Post by davidmartin » Tue Apr 28, 2020 3:13 am

the Clementines is similar to Samaritan Judaism which has no problems with questioning scripture (referring back to the original post), nor with questioning sacrifice and would explain the funky theology

Any debate of the Clementines that ignores Samaritan concepts is strange to me, even childish
Here you have a major sectarian group - known to have been active in and around early Christianity - but ... who talks about it - no-one!
Massive failure here, massive blind spot.
The protagonist in the Clementines is Samaritan, but even that isn't a big enough clue apparently

Until Samaritan's are given the same importance as Qumran community, which in comparison was tiny and arguably less influential - then i doubt i'll read anything new said about this stuff

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Re: Peter in the Clementine Homilies Does Not Accept the Sacredness of the Pentateuch

Post by John2 » Wed Apr 29, 2020 11:58 am

davidmartin wrote:
Tue Apr 28, 2020 3:13 am
the Clementines is similar to Samaritan Judaism which has no problems with questioning scripture (referring back to the original post), nor with questioning sacrifice and would explain the funky theology

Any debate of the Clementines that ignores Samaritan concepts is strange to me, even childish
Here you have a major sectarian group - known to have been active in and around early Christianity - but ... who talks about it - no-one!
Massive failure here, massive blind spot.
The protagonist in the Clementines is Samaritan, but even that isn't a big enough clue apparently

Until Samaritan's are given the same importance as Qumran community, which in comparison was tiny and arguably less influential - then i doubt i'll read anything new said about this stuff

There is no blind spot. Epiphanius says outright that the Ebionites were influenced by Samaritans, just not exclusively.


Pan. 30. 1.2-3:
For it was as though someone were to collect a set of jewelry from various precious stones and an outfit of varicolored clothing and tog himself up conspicuously. Ebion, in reverse, took any and every docgrine which was dreadful, lethal, disgusting, ugly and unconvincing, thoroughly contentious, from every sect, and patterned himself after them all. For he has the Samaritans' unpleasantness, but the Jews' name ...

But I disagree with your characterization of the Qumran community as being "arguably less influential," since I view the DSS as being largely Fourth Philosophic writings and Josephus says Judea had been influenced by the Fourth Philosophy "to an incredible degree" (Ant. 18.1.1, cf. Acts 21:20), and I view Christianity as being a faction of the Fourth Philosophy. And as the supposed Ebionite source behind Rec. 1.43 puts it:

So that the priests at one time were afraid, lest haply, by the providence of God, to their confusion, the whole of the people should come over to our faith. Therefore they often sent to us, and asked us to discourse to them concerning Jesus, whether he were the Prophet whom Moses foretold, who is the eternal Christ. For on this point only does there seem to be any difference between us who believe in Jesus, and the unbelieving Jews.
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Re: Peter in the Clementine Homilies Does Not Accept the Sacredness of the Pentateuch

Post by Secret Alias » Wed Apr 29, 2020 12:36 pm

What's the point of saying anything when you are an inherently dishonest person. Who wrote the Clementines? No clear answer. Just blah, blah, blah.
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Re: Peter in the Clementine Homilies Does Not Accept the Sacredness of the Pentateuch

Post by John2 » Wed Apr 29, 2020 1:28 pm

Secret Alias wrote:
Wed Apr 29, 2020 12:36 pm
What's the point of saying anything when you are an inherently dishonest person. Who wrote the Clementines? No clear answer. Just blah, blah, blah.

That's because, as far as I can tell, there is no clear answer on who wrote the Clementines, only that whoever the final redactors were appear to have used earlier sources, i.e., the third century CE Grundschrift, which in turn had its sources, some of which appear to be Ebionite.

And as I've been saying, I think that the Ebionite source that appears to be behind Rec. 1.27-71 corresponds with what Irenaeus says about Ebionites, and that some of the more "way out" parts of the Clementines could be due (in part) to the influence that Elchasaites had on later Ebionites like Epiphanius says, since the citation you gave from the Homilies in your OP corresponds with what he says about later Ebionites.

But as for who the final redactors of the Recognitions and Homilies were, I don't know of any clear answer to that.
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