Of Nazirites & Naṣoraeans.

Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.
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Ben C. Smith
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Re: Of Nazirites & Naṣoraeans.

Post by Ben C. Smith » Sun Oct 18, 2020 9:02 am

Secret Alias wrote:
Sun Oct 18, 2020 8:41 am
The LXX translates yashar (noun) with chrestos.
How many times, though? Once? (Proverbs 2.21.) By far the most common Hebrew word standing behind χρηστός in the LXX/OG is טוֹב.

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Re: Of Nazirites & Naṣoraeans.

Post by Secret Alias » Sun Oct 18, 2020 12:12 pm

Yes. Just once.

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Re: Of Nazirites & Naṣoraeans.

Post by Secret Alias » Sun Oct 18, 2020 12:12 pm

But the idea that Christianity = (super) Israel is intriguing

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Re: Of Nazirites & Naṣoraeans.

Post by Ben C. Smith » Fri Oct 30, 2020 11:17 am

Another interesting reference to the Nazoraeans, specifically to their gospel. There are many from the medieval period which I have not included in this thread, but which are available in A. F. J. Klijn, Jewish-Christian Gospel Tradition readily enough. But he does not seem to have included this one (as pointed out by Wolfram Kinzig in his chapter in Jewish Believers in Jesus) from century XIII, so I am posting it here:

A. Vögtlin, Vita Beate Virginis Marie et Salvatoris Rhythmica, pages 57-58 (translation mine):

(From the prologue to the second book.)

Ex diversis ergo libris diversaque collegi
Et in unum opus stilo rudissimo redegi,
Ut ex evangelio, quod Nazareorum
Vocatur, et ex hoc quod est dictum Hebreorum,
Quod sanctus Jeronimus scitur transtulisse,
Et nullam ibi falsitatem credimus scripsisse
Sanctum virum; que si tamen apocrifa dicantur,
Tamen ibi nulla falsa posita probantur;
Ad hoc et Honorius in libro, qui vocatur
Speculum ecclesie, mihi suffragatur.
In ecclesiastica historia beata
Pontifex Eusebius est quedam protestata;
Et historigraphi ut sanctus Egisippus,
Affricanus, Josephus, Orosius, Philippus
Scriptis suis ad hoc opus nobis affuerunt;
Ipsi nam de Jesu Christi tempore scripserunt.


From diverse books, therefore, I both collected diverse things and redacted them into one work in a very raw style, as from a gospel which is called of the Nazareans, and from that which is said to be of the Hebrews, which Saint Jerome is known to have translated, and we believe the saintly man not to have written any falsity there; which things, even if they should be said to be apocryphal, nevertheless no falsehoods are approved as having been put there. In addition to this also Honorius, in a book which is called Mirror of the Church, is vouched for by me. In the blessed Ecclesiastical History the pontiff Eusebius published certain testimonies. And historiographers such as Saint Hegesippus, Africanus, Josephus, Orosius, (and) Philip have been present with us for this work in their writings. For they themselves have written concerning the time of Jesus Christ.

Quick and dirty, literalistic translation. Corrections welcome.

The list of source materials stands out:
  • Gospel of the Nazoreans.
  • Gospel of the Hebrews, translated by Jerome.
  • Mirror of the Church, by Honorius (Augustodunensis).
  • Ecclesiastical History, by Eusebius.
  • Hegesippus.
  • (Julius) Africanus.
  • (Flavius) Josephus.
  • (Paulus) Orosius.
  • Philip (Sidetes, I presume).
The Mirror of the Church is also from century XIII, I think, so contemporaneous (or nearly so) with the author of the Vita Beate Virginis. Eusebius, Jerome, Africanus, Josephus, Orosius, and Philip Sidetes are all known fodder for medieval authors. I would like to think that the Hegesippus listed here is the one quoted by Eusebius, but it may instead be pseudo-Hegesippus (author of De Excidio). What remains are the two gospel texts, which unfortunately may refer to Latin compilations extracted from multiple sources, early and late, whose only qualification is that they be noncanonical and not overtly heretical. Such references abound in the medieval literature (in Sedulius Scotus, Haimo of Auxerre, Hugo of Saint Cher, Petrus de Riga, and others).

Ben.
Last edited by Ben C. Smith on Fri Oct 30, 2020 11:36 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Of Nazirites & Naṣoraeans.

Post by Ben C. Smith » Fri Oct 30, 2020 11:28 am

That same medieval work contains this detail:

A. Vögtlin, Vita Beate Virginis Marie et Salvatoris Rhythmica, page 129 (translation mine):

Cum ergo Jesus a Johanne foret baptizatus,
Populusque plurimus cum ipso renovatus,
Ecce, celum est apertum, lux magnaque refulsit
In Jesum, necnon universos presentes circumfulsit.


When, therefore, Jesus was to be baptized by John, and very many people with him renewed, behold, heaven was opened, and a great light flashed upon Jesus, but did not flash round all those present.

Did our author perhaps derive this datum from one of those gospel texts listed? It did not come from Josephus or Eusebius. The gospel attributed by Epiphanius to the Ebionites contains the baptismal light. (And of course Justin Martyr knows of a baptismal fire, which seems to be cut of the same cloth.)

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