Translation Help: Philo Passage on Therapeuts, DVC 78-79

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Translation Help: Philo Passage on Therapeuts, DVC 78-79

Post by billd89 » Thu Aug 13, 2020 9:26 am

[78] αἱ δὲ ἐξηγήσεις τῶν ἱερῶν γραμμάτων γίνονται δι' ὑπονοιῶν ἐν ἀλληγορίαις· ἅπασα γὰρ ἡ νομοθεσία δοκεῖ τοῖς ἀνδράσι τούτοις ἐοικέναι ζῴῳ καὶ σῶμα μὲν ἔχειν τὰς ῥητὰς διατάξεις, ψυχὴν δὲ τὸν ἐναποκείμενον ταῖς λέξεσιν ἀόρατον νοῦν, ἐν ᾧ ἤρξατο ἡ λογικὴ ψυχὴ διαφερόντως τὰ οἰκεῖα θεωρεῖν, ὥσπερ διὰ κατόπτρου τῶν ὀνομάτων ἐξαίσια κάλλη νοημάτων | ἐμφαινόμενα κατιδοῦσα καὶ τὰ μὲν σύμβολα διαπτύξασα καὶ διακαλύψασα, γυμνὰ δὲ εἰς φῶς προαγαγοῦσα τὰ ἐνθύμια τοῖς δυναμένοις ἐκ μικρᾶς ὑπομνήσεως [79] τὰ ἀφανῆ διὰ τῶν φανερῶν θεωρεῖν.

David Winston, ser. CWS, Paulist [1981]:
The (78) interpretations of the Holy Scripture are made in accordance with the deeper meanings conveyed in allegory. For the whole of the Law seems to these people to resemble a living being with the literal commandments for its body and for its soul the invisible meaning (nous) stored away in its words. It is in the latter that the rational soul begins especially to contemplate the things akin to itself and, beholding the extraordinary beauty of the concepts through the polished glass of the words, unfolds and reveals the symbols, and brings forth the thoughts bared into the light for those who are able by a slight jog to their memory to view the invisible through the visible.

F.H. Colson, Philo in Ten Volumes, New York, Vol.9 [1935] p.161
78: The exposition of the sacred scriptures treats the inner meaning conveyed in allegory. For to these people whole law book seems to resemble a living creature with the literal ordinances for its body and for its soul the invisible mind laid up in its wording. It is in this mind especially that the rational soul begins to contemplate the things akin to itself and looking through the words as through a mirror beholds the marvellous beauties of the concepts, unfolds and removes the symbolic coverings and brings forth the thoughts and sets them bare to the light of day for those who need but a little reminding to enable them to discern the inward and hidden through the outward and visible.

Winston (1981) follows Colson (1935), which should be a good sign ... but then there's this.

Moriz Friedländer, Zur Entstehungsgeschichte des Christenthums.Ein Excurs von der Septuaginta zum Evangelium [1894], {=On the Origin of Christianity: An Excursus from the Septuagint to the Gospel} pp.95-6:

{p.95} Wir erinnern uns, dass DVC wiederholt nachdrücklichst darauf hinweist, welche grosse Rolle die Allegorie bei den Therapeuten spielte. Folgende diesbezügliche Stelle ist besonders wichtig: “Die Auslegung der heiligen Schrift bezweckt die Erforschung des tieferen Sinnes vermittelst der Allegorie. Denn die ganze Gesetzgebung scheint diesen Männern einem organischen Wesen ähnlich. Die wörtliche Auffassung vergleichen sie mit dem Leibe, mit der Seele aber den unter den Worten liegenden verborgenen Sinn, bei welchem die {p.96} vernünftige Seele anfängt, in den Worten wie in einem Spiegel zu schauen, indem sie die ausserordentliche Erhabenheit der ihnen innewohnenden Gedanken kennen lernt und sich gewöhnt, die Symbole zu durchforschen und aufzuhellen, den eigentlichen Kern Denen, die dessen fähig sind, offen darzulegen und so auf scheinbar unbedeutende Veranlassung hin das Verborgene in dem Sichtbaren zu erkennen.” 57)

My working translation:
{p.95} We recall the DVC repeatedly emphasizes the oversized role Allegory played for the Therapeuts. In this regard, the following passage is particularly important: “The interpretation of the Holy Scriptures aims to explore the deeper meaning through Allegory, because for these men the whole of The Law is likened unto a living being. They compare the literal version with its body, but for its soul is the meaning hidden under the words, at which the {p.96} sensible or rational soul begins to contemplate itself as in a mirror, getting to know and be conditioned by the extraordinary sublimity of the inherent Mind, to thoroughly examine and to clarify the Symbols – to the very core of those capable of so being openly propounded, and on so seemingly trivial cause – so, to recognize the hidden in the visible.

Have Colson/Winston missed a word of sarcasm intended by Philo, who elsewhere strongly rebukes radical allegorists? I am trying to follow the forgotten/ignored thesis of Friedländer, that DVC is a contemporary forgery - wrongly ascribed to Philo. Does Friedländer's translation -or my misunderstanding his German (inference) - imply a note of sarcasm from 'Philo'?

"und so auf scheinbar unbedeutende Veranlassung" = ? 'and for so apparently insignificant reason' ;

Perhaps Friedländer used a different version, but here (again) is what Winston (1981) used:
γυμνὰ δὲ εἰς φῶς προαγαγοῦσα τὰ ἐνθύμια τοῖς δυναμένοις ἐκ μικρᾶς ὑπομνήσεως [79] τὰ ἀφανῆ διὰ τῶν φανερῶν θεωρεῖν.

Any corrections, thoughts here?

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Friedländer’s On the Origin of Christianity: An Excursus from the Septuagint to the Gospel [1894], Part 1

Post by billd89 » Thu Aug 20, 2020 3:57 am

Because there is no translation, I had to make a working copy - admittedly, my German is poor; all Errors are mine.

Moriz Friedländer’s Zur Entstehungsgeschichte des Christenthums.Ein Excurs von der Septuaginta zum Evangelium [1894]
{Link, to Hathitrust online copy}, {= On the Origin of Christianity: An Excursus from the Septuagint to the Gospel} p.59-97:

{p.59} “III. Therapeutism.
It is an awkward thing to want to speak today of a Therapeutism when it has long ago been done away with. And yet, even at the risk of encountering everywhere a pitiful shrug of the shoulders, we want to attempt to defend a view that has already been overcome, the existence of Jewish Therapeuts in pre-Christian times. It wasn't that long ago that people started contesting this view, and it was only a few years ago that it was completely overturned.

It is strange how light-heartedly these Therapeuts were dropped, how Jews and Christians fell upon them together, tore the supposed mask off their faces and pushed them out of history with abuse and shame. The first sign of the attack came from the Jewish camp. And how little sympathy was otherwise shown against the hypotheses put forward by that side in the theological field. This time Graetz (who was the first attacker) had no complaints. A considerable number of Christian fighters flocked to him, since the task was to fight a common discomforting opponent.

But why were the Therapeuts inconvenient for our Jewish historian? An easy-to-answer question: Alexandrian Therapeutism gave his Palestinian brother, Essenism, too much momentum to give it an alien glow of light and made it an appearance that could no longer be accommodated in Talmudic literature. Therefore, Therapeutism had to be destroyed: so that a strong damper would be put on Essenism, so that it went deeper and deeper to the basis of Hasideanism (with which it had some insignificant externalities), and so to be able to be understood from the history of pre-Christian Pharisee Judaism. In other words, pre-Christian Therapeutism had too much of what was later expressed in Christianity and too little of what was specifically Jewish, and moreover it pursued the more universalist tendencies that could not possibly have had their source in Pharisaical Judaism. Therefore, Essenism – which soars above the level of Pharisaism and whose existence could not be denied – had to be freed from the embrace of lightly exhilarating Therapeutism, which was all the less difficult since we had only one report of the Therapeuts’ own, in the writing attributed to Philo: De Vita Contemplativa. And the authorship of Philo could easily be challenged here, however much this tractate also reflects the spiritual direction and presentation of the greatest Jewish Alexandrian. — So DVC was discussed with Philo, but that still didn’t make this book harmless. For the report about the Therapeuts contained therein could have come from a contemporary of our philosopher, and it corresponds to the truth all the more, since the most important parts agree with the descriptions given by Philo and Josephus about the Essenes. One went a righteous step further making the assertion: the Therapeuts portrayed in DVC never lived, that the writing itself was only composed by a Christian in the Third Century CE (or even later) in order to glorify the only-then dawning of Christian monasticism. — Now the Jewish Therapeuts were eliminated, and thus the reports about the Essenes – which are in any case only sparse – are so heavily curtailed that they could easily be undermined. Yet the no less inconvenient depictions by Josephus1) and Philo2) that put Essenism at an unapproachable height {p.61} are so determined that they do not allow any restrictive interpretation. If criticism had dealt with the much more difficult Therapeuts, why shouldn't it succeed with Essenism? This is how Frankel3) and Grätz4) thought, and with some ingenuity and great relish, they rejected both Philonic reports as fake: now Philo had no idea about the existence of Therapeuts or Essenes. This left only one serious eulogist for pre-Christian Essenism, namely: Josephus. But coping with this wasn't difficult, because where this historian does not show himself compliant, he is given a short trial. His whitewashing and braggadocio is thrown at his feet as a billy-club, and he's rendered speechless. Didn't he make the Pharisees into Stoics, to encircle them with the halo of philosophy? So why should he have done less whitewashing when glorifying the Essenes?

Graetz’s suggestion with regard to Therapeutism fell on an extremely fertile ground, since the consequences of it had to hit Essenism hard. And so it was considered ‘worth the sweat of the noble’ to carefully compile all possible and impossible evidence – from near and far, wherever it is always found – in order to support this so-desired hypothesis, and to gradually strengthen it until it is incontestable. Here, the main work was done by Lucius. He operates with astonishly massive proof, which, however, only expresses its efficiency by negation but which completely breaks down when he wants to build up. Lucius has clearly shown this in his two writings on Therapeutism and Essenism. Wherever he disputes Philo’s book DVC, his heavy-cannon – even if a large amount of powder fizzles away ineffectively– proves trusty. But it turns out to be powerless, when he wants to rebuild the Therapeutism fought on Jewish soil on Christian grounds, just as soon as it turns out to be no less powerless, when he wants to reconstruct the Essenism fought on Greek soil on a Chasidic basis, and to explain all its {p.62} peculiarities from the break with the Temple service. However that may be, the fact is that Lucius had become catastrophic to Therapeutism. Essenism – which was greatly enhanced by Therapeutism, and which reveals a close relationship with early Christianity – had been a stumbling block to both Jewish and Christian theologians for some time. Then the liberator from this pressing nightmare finally appeared in Lucius. He completed what Graetz started, annihilated Therapeutism and so cut Essenism's head off, thereby offering the possibility of depressing it to the level of Phariseeism, (even if one is so gracious from time to time) as an ‘increase in’ Phariseeism. He completed what Graetz had started, annihilating Therapeutism and cutting off the head of Essenism, by which the opportunity was presented to reduce it to the level of Pharisaism (or if one is so lenient, now and then, to let it count as an ‘increase in Pharisaism’). “The attempt to derive Essenism from Alexandrian Judaism” says Hilgenfeld5) “has lost its mainstay through the demonstration that Egyptian Therapeuts were a Christian monastic entity and fails because by the impossibility of Alexandrian Judaism making such an early penetration into Palestine even conceivable.” This clearly shows the importance attached to the annihilation of Jewish Therapeutism: hit the Therapeuts and find the Essenes.

But are we in actuality so far as Hilgenfeld claims? How – since such an ‘early penetration of Alexandrian Judaism into Palestine’ would not be demonstrated – should the assertion (i.e. that Essenism was a product of Alexandrian Judaism) necessarily fail? What if it could be demonstrated – at every turn – that Essenism derives its chief idiosyncrasies from the source of Alexandrian Judaism? If furthermore – as we have already shown – a lively exchange of ideas between Alexandrian and Palestine would have taken place very early on? But: “Essenism has lost its mainstay through the demonstration {p.63} that Egyptian Therapeuts were a Christian monastic entity.” This ‘proof’ alone has by no means been provided and will probably never be possible to supply. We are still dealing not with an irrefutable dogma but with a wavering, easily shaken hypothesis. And that brings us to the point where we have to deal with Lucius, the most meritorious supporter of this hypothesis, a little more closely.

In his assault on Therapeutism, Lucius took a very methodical approach. Above all, the enemy to be destroyed, completely isolated, cut off from all former allies, and then – defenseless – struck down with one blow. His blood kin and friends (so-called Philonism, Essenism and Neo-Pythagoreanism) who had thus far shielded him, were by force estranged through all kinds of of misapplication of persuasiveness {=cajolery} and alienating, violent measures – to be compared to him as total strangers. Philo, who is basically only the last, but most brilliant link in the long chain of Alexandrian Judaism, has been made the actual creator of it, but his predecessors (who could not be dispelled) were stamped into very insignificant individuals who taught such teachings how the ones laid down in the Philonic Scriptures could not develop. He has Philo, who is basically just the last, most brilliant link in the long chain of Alexandrian Judaism, made the actual creator of it, but his predecessors – who were not to be argued away – were stamped as quite insignificant individuals, unable to develop such teachings as those laid down in Philonic writings. Furthermore, the asceticism preached so emphatically by Philo – which corresponds exactly to that practiced by the Therapeuts – has been made the original property of this latest Jewish Alexandrian, only to set its first dawn as late as possible and to render impossible or exclude the assumption of pre-Christian Therapeutism. In the end, it was simply said: “It was an unprovable and unnecessary assumption that Philo had borrowed asceticism from his predecessors.”6)

1) Joseph. B.J. II,8. Antiq. XVIII,1.
2) Quod Omnis Probus Liber Sit, Mangey II, p.457 sqq.; ap. Eusebius, Praeparatio Evangelica 8.11.
3) Programm zur Eröffnung des Jüdisch-Theologischen Seminars, 1854, p.32.
4) Geschichte der Juden von den ältesten Zeiten bis auf die Gegenwart [18??], III,3, p.680.
5) Adolf Hilgenfeld, Die Ketzergeschichte des Urchristenthums[1884], p.92 sq. Selbst Schürer, Geschichte des Jüdischen Volkes Im Zeitalter Jesu Christi [1885], Vol.2, p.492, 111, says: “The question of whether the Therapeuts are forerunners of the Essenes or vice versa can now remain unexplored, since the only writing that tells us about the Therapeuts – namely Philo’s De Vita Contemplativa – is surely fake, and the Therapeuts are very likely nothing more than Christian monks.
6) Ernst Lucius, Die Therapeuten und ihre Stellung in der Geschichte der Askese. Eine kritische Untersuchung der Schrift De vita contemplative [1879], p.60.

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Friedländer’s On the Origin of Christianity ...[1894], Part 2

Post by billd89 » Thu Aug 20, 2020 4:02 am

But was Philo in fact the literal creator of Alexandrian Judaism, or – instead – has he processed material which had accumulated for centuries and sifted through it in a systematic sense? Certainly, given the inapproachable holiness which surrounded Biblical literature, he should never have dared {p.64} to introduce new ideas and views into the same, anything alien to the consciousness of his fellow believers; on the contrary, he presented common interpretations, long naturalized, with his own mastery and like none of his predecessors. And this mastership – as well as the fact that he treated it all so thoroughly – merely made use of and skilfully elaborated allegorical interpretations worthy of consideration; and to this it is attributable that the works of his predecessors (with the exception of a few fragments) have become superfluous, completely forgotten. How little of the allegorical exegesis is Philo’s own distinct property can be seen from the fact that, in the few cases where he gives his own new explanation, he invokes divine inspiration to justify his departure from the traditional interpretation. “In particular, we assert of Philo” – concludes Gfrörer7) quite correctly – “that neither his way of allegorizing nor his philosophical opinions are peculiar to him, but rather that he shared both with a large number of his contemporaries. At first sight, this assertion seems to contradict his extraordinary reputation among scholars of his and subsequent eras. Though one is predisposed to assume such a celebrated man was also original and would have introduced new ideas, that is not the case. Rather, his high esteem can be explained by his eloquence, his bright, accurate language, his dexterity in presentation, and finally even by his detached, excellent, even own pronouncements, but by no means from his originality. After all, he may have invented some new phrases and may have been the creator of some less important ideas; however, he did not create Allegory itself or the actual philosophy on which it is based. This can be proven partly from his own writings, partly from other surviving artifacts of Judeo-Alexandrian scholarship. We have partly fragmentary and partly complete preserved writings of Alexandrian Jews which are altogether older than Philo and which contain completely identical views …{p.65} writings – of which we only say so much for the time being – that are sufficient as conclusive historical evidence there was a special Jewish School in Alexandria to which Philo also belonged. As I said, the same applies to his own writings {viz. that his own writings are evidence of the Jewish school}. For, firstly, with his allegorical commentary he appears so assured and undaunted, as if no one in the world could have any doubt as to the validity of this procedure; secondly, in many places of his works, over various allegorical explanations of one and the same saying of Holy Writ, he leads with ‘as to the opinions of others...’ ” The evidence from Philo that Gfrörer gives here is very instructive.8)

Philo was no more the creator of Alexandrian Allegory9) than founder of Asceticism’s theory. It is absolutely incomprehensible how someone can deny pre-Philonic asceticism as long as he admits pre-Christian Essenism, which had already embraced asceticism long before Philo. However, one tries to hide this stumbling block with the remark: “that opinions about the meaning and nature of Essenism differ as much as possible, and in particular it has not yet been proven that it was really based on on an ascetic principle.”10) — But isn't it certain the Essenes – or at least {p.66} the greater part of them – renounced married life? And this, as Lucius himself admits, is probably the most significant manifestation of asceticism. Does this concession only apply to his later Christian but not the much earlier Jewish asceticism? At least in relation to the former, Lucius says literally: ““It is sufficient for our purpose here to take a closer look at just one of the manifestations of Christian asceticism, namely the asceticism of sexual life, because it is the most significant... and because it is most certain that from it a correct assessment of all ascetic tendencies of an age is possible. For in a society where – for religious reasons – numerous people decide to renounce their conjugal life forever, their consciousness (and to some extent also that of their contemporaries who approve and praise their procedure) is a complete break with conditions of the pre-existing one. This opens the door to all other forms in which the ascetic instincts tend to express themselves. For ascetic reasons, virginity is therefore always the best measure for determining the intensity of the ascetic aspirations of an age.”11)

We ask again: does this claim only apply to the imitating, second-hand asceticism of Christian monks, but not also to the original of pre-Christian Essenes? Didn't the Essene order form a society of numerous people who renounced marital life for religious reasons, and did they not receive approval and praise from their contemporaries Philo and Josephus?

But if it is believed the Therapeuts extolled in DVC had actually lived, and this tractate itself dates from Philo’s time, how could it be explained that not a single Church writer mentioned it before Eusebius? At first sight, this objection indeed appears grave; however, on closer inspection it turns out to be invalid. Above all, we would like to ask which Church teacher before Eusebius thought to praise the Essenes, {p.67} somewhat behind the Therapeuts? As far as we know, these were only ever mentioned as heretics, and the Therapeuts were certainly considered to belong to the Essenes’ sect. But that silence of the Church writers, which only Eusebius was allowed to break first, has another, more profound, if not difficult-to-guess reason, and it is most striking no one wanted to discover it until today. We ask: how can Church teachers be asked to recall that the Therapeuts – who (according to DVC's description) are mere “disciples of Moses”, as real Jews (far removed from Christianity they still did not and could not have known) – had won the Palm of Piety, which thereby showed that one can already reach perfection and closeness to God from the soil of Judaism? What use would Christianity be, if Jewish Therapeutism was the pinnacle of piety? We thus understand why Church teachers before Eusebius were not permitted to elevate Therapeutism at the expense of Christianity, that their silence should prove no acquaintance with Therapeutism. Only Eusebius was allowed to break this long silence, after availing of a rumor he heard which had only appeared in his day, an undoubtedly ad hoc on dit12): “according to tradition, Philo came to Rome in the reign of Emperor Claudius to converse with Peter, who was then {c.AD 45?} preaching the Gospel to the inhabitants of that city.” On the basis of this rumor, Eusebius could now boldly continue, concluding: “Nor is this improbable, since the writing to which I refer (i.e. DVC) clearly contains the rules of the church still observed in our day. And since he describes as accurately as possible the life of our ascetics, it is clear that he not only knew, but that he also approved, while he venerated and extolled, the apostolic men of his time, who were as it seems of the Hebrew race, {p.68} and hence observed, after the manner of the Jews, most of the customs of the ancients.”13)
As the spell which had previously been laid upon the Therapeut was released, so the DVC book was freed and allowed to be passed from hand to hand. If it described proto-Christian conditions, then the Therapeuts were Christians!

7) A. Gfrörer, Philo und die alexandrinische Theosophie, oder vom Einflusse der jüdisch-ägyptischen Schule auf die Lehre des neuen Testaments I, p.77 sq. Cf. Dähne I, p.69 sq.
8) Lucius disagrees on this point. Although he sees himself pressured to admit that “views of older or contemporary Alexandrines are mentioned here and there”, he adds immediately: “but these concern very insignificant points in the allegorical interpretation (op. cit., p.58). – Really, very insignificant points? We only want to take one example here: De Somniis M. I, 638 {1.72} says Philo (referring to Genesis 28:11): τόπῳ ὑπήντησεν• „ἔδυ“ γάρ φησιν „ὁ ἥλιος“, “Some here declare ‘sun’ for νοῦς {~First Cause, Divine Mind}... but τόπος {=Seat} for the Divine Logos…” But if we hear the incorporation of the ‘Divine Logos’ into the Biblical Scriptures as ‘very insignificant points in the allegorical interpretation’, then veritably we no longer know what the important points should really be.
9) Cf. Ernest Havet, Le christianisme et ses origines. III, p.398: “Mais Philon n'a pas inventé la doctrine qu' il developpe; il a eu des maitres...” {=“But Philo did not invent the doctrine he developed; he had some teachers”}.
10) Lucius, op. cit., p.61.
11) Lucius, op. cit., p.138.
12) λόγος ἔχει {=as the story goes}
13) Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History 2.17.

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Friedländer’s On the Origin of Christianity ...[1894], Part 3

Post by billd89 » Thu Aug 20, 2020 4:04 am

{p.68} Philo's silence is more important. Although the opportunity to do so repeatedly appeared in his works, the Therapeuts are nowhere mentioned as in De Vita Contemplativa, from which – at first glance – it was rightly concluded that he did not know the Therapeuts: that is, they did not exist. But this silence is incomprehensible only as long as Philo is accepted as the author of DVC and made the enthusiastic eulogist of Therapeuts. However, as soon as one gives up this authorship and assumes a contemporary Alexandrian Jew (free from any national prejudice) has written this book, an impartial examination of the Philonic writings will find that Philo not only knew the Therapeuts (as described in DVC), but even condemned them because he could not approve of many of their religious views and customs.

It is inconceivable that a Christian should have written the book On the Contemplative Life because it was impossible for him to write an apology in favor of ‘Christian’ asceticism which obscured (and only this) Judaism and made Christianity seem superfluous. The author of DVC, who knew how to copy our Philo so excellently he was able to deceive the critical eye of the studious world through almost two millennia, must not be regarded as so limited. The book, however, cannot have been written long after Philo, since it grew out of the spirit of pre-Christian Alexandrian Judaism from whose lively abundance it draws: it is bone from its bones and flesh from its flesh. {p.69} A counterfeit which dates from around the end of the 3rd or beginning of the 4th Centuries AD – when Alexandrian Judaism had long ago passed noisily away – could never have reflected the spirit of the Philonic epoch with such loyalty and vitality. “The latest scholars,” says Keim14) “have regarded the question as superfluous, since they hold Philo's treatise on the Therapeutae to be fake, and to be only the glorification of the beginning Christian monasticism in Egypt. But this opinion does great violence to history, for the treatise breathes not only the spirit of Philo, but also that of pre-Christian and indeed Essenic Judaism.” – “This writing,” Delaunay says15) “is so drenched in the Philonic spirit that, had it come to us anonymously, historians, critics, philologists, and the philosophers would have unanimously attributed it to a Jew, an Alexandrian, a Philo.” For our part – as already indicated – we do not share the view that Philo drafted this work for the following reasons, initially: Philo, who was once able (at a young age) to withdraw from the world for the purpose of a contemplative life, rebukes it hard. Philo, who calls for “struggle to prepare for the higher struggles” {=De Fuga et Inventione 36: “end the combats of practical life before struggling for the contemplative life”} ‘in practical life before the contemplative life’ could not possibly have extolled and recommended the life of Therapeuts to the youth (as is done in DVC). But then Philo, who (despite all his philosophical liberalism) was still a strictly national Jew himself and never wanted to renounce his ceremonial Judaism (no matter how far he had allegorically decomposed it), allowed the Therapeuts (who stripped off everything ceremonial and were ‘Jewish’ only in the idea, and who inexorably penetrated all forms to the “disembodied truth”) to have finally surpassed national {p.70} Judaism long ago? Philo, who never showers such exuberant praise (as does the author of DVC), on all of this? Rather, {the anonymous author} was an Alexandrian Jew who wrote shortly after Philo, who was enthusiastic about the lifestyle and universalistic religious direction of the Therapeuts, who found it difficult that a man like Philo, while exalting the Essenes to heaven, not only had no word of praise for the Therapeuts, but even occasionally (although without explicitly naming them) made them feel his severe rebuke. This was the main reason which prompted {the anonymous author} to draft our book, and impelled him – after the eulogy dedicated by Philo to the Palestinian Essenes – to erect a worthy memorial for those whom he admired: the Egyptian Therapeuts. He reveals this clearly enough in the introductory words: “Because the magnitude of the excellence of those men, let us say the Therapeut must not be the cause of silence for those who believe that beautiful things should not be concealed.”16)

Recent researchers who made the Therapeuts into Christian monks have been misled by Eusebius, who claims that Philo sketched the first Christians in DVC. We have already seen where he got permission to make this assumption. His mainstay was the legend that St. Mark preached his gospel in Egypt and found a large following there,17) but primarily the rumor that Philo had dealt Peter in Rome and warmed by him to the Christian institutions. To shed light on the groundlessness of this rumor, which has often been proven untrustworthy, {p.71} seems completely superfluous. However, as one can read from Eusebius' report, it is incomprehensible to us that in his day Christian asceticism was as widespread and popular as the tract On the Contemplative Life took for granted. It is strange to look for Christian ascetics in the 3rd Century, in order to make a DVC version possible at that time, while Jewish ascetics in the age of Philo are popping up like mushrooms and asceticism is blossoming in a way that has never been achieved again. How strong, by the way, the penchant for Therapeutic asceticism was – already, at the beginning of the Christian era – can be seen from the fact that Jesus was able to call out to the rich, law-abiding youth who asked him to show him the way to attain eternal life: “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give it to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven.”18) That Paul also sees himself constrained by the circumstances to advise the believer: “It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or to do anything to lead your brother to stumble, to sin or sickness.”19) When Lucius concludes from Eusebius’ report, “it is no small importance that the most learned Church historian of Christian antiquity, who was best acquainted with the phenomena of his time, asserted with the utmost confidence that the Therapeuts were Christians – and that he was always ready to prove his claim – has once again called upon the complete identitification which existed between Therapeut and Christian ascetics of his day in terms of the way of life, customs and modesty”:20) this is a totally insupportable conclusion. For Eusebius knows (as has already been emphasized by other parties21)) that there is no striking example which would document the complete {p.72} identification of Therapeuts with the ascetics of his day. And though it must be admitted that this Church teacher (because he has Philo writing the DVC) had to take into account the proto-Apostolic conditions, it is no less obvious that (to the extent he notes that striking similarities between Therapeuts and the ascetics of his day were the same) since he would have been interested in them, he would certainly have highlighted it: but Eusebius does not do that. Rather, in order to give evidence of the Therapeut’s Christian character, he uses proto-Apostolic Christianity and only occasionally adds in a subtle manner: “as is still the case here with us.”22) So the main evidence for the kinship between Therapeuts and Christian ascetics is provided with the earliest past (a still-Therapeut early

14) Theodor Keim, The History of Jesus of Nazara [1876] I, p.384.
15) Hippolyte Delaunay Moines Et Sibylles Dans L'antiquité Judéo-grecque [1874], p.33 sq. and p.44 states from the book DVC: “The language is truly that of Philo, with his special appeal, his idioms, all the terms of his vocabulary. In kind, that if this book had reached us without an author's name, the historian, the critic, the philologist and the philosopher would all agree to attribute it to a Jew, to an Alexandrian, to Philo.”
16) DVC M. II, 1. 471.
17) Eusebius, Historia Ecclesiastica 2.16 reports on the following: “This Mark is said to have traveled to Egypt and there first preached the gospel, which he had also written, and also first established churches in Alexandria. So great was the multitude of men and women who had become believers at the beginning, who observed the strict religious way of life, that Philo thought it worthy to describe their pursuits, gatherings, communal meals and their whole manner of life.”
18) Matthew 19:21. The word τέλειος is significant at this point. The Therapeuts also gave away their belongings to achieve perfection.
19) Romans 14:2; 14:21. 1 Corinthians 8:13.
20) Paul Ernst Lucius, Die Therapeuten und ihre Stellung in der Geschichte der Askese: eine Kritische Untersuchung der Schrift De Vita Contemplativa [1879], p.133.
21) Hermann Weingarten, Der Ursprung des Mönchtums im nachkonstantinischen Zeitalter [1876], p.7.
22) Eusebius, Historia Ecclesiastica 2.17: ἔτι νῦν … καὶ εἰς δεῦρο.
23) Ibid. 24) Lucius, op. cit., p.129.

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Friedländer’s On the Origin of Christianity ...[1894], Part 4

Post by billd89 » Thu Aug 20, 2020 4:06 am

{p.72} Christianity), which here and there can only be quietly echoed, but not from his present.
How difficult it all became for our Church instructor, to strip the Therapeuts of their Jewish character and clothe them for Christianity, is shown by the fact that – in order to dispel doubts that may arise – he feels compelled to say in advance: it seems that Philo did not merely witness Apostolic men then living in his day, who were all apparently of Hebrew descent and therefore he preferred to regard old Jewish customs with anxious rigor, but also he agreed with them, since he admired and exalted them;23) as well as the fact that, as Lucius himself admits, “he does not discuss the Therapeuts’ religious and philosophical views in depth.” Of course, Lucius adds in a restrictive manner that the DVC offered little reason to do so: “However this indicates the Jewish character of the sect it describes, it does not emphasize it anywhere.”24) Well, that's a matter of opinion. For our part, we believe that this writing describes Jewish ascetics among the Therapeuts, {p.73} sprung from the soil of Alexandrian Judaism, but that this Un-Jewishness in Therapeutism betrays not Christian but rather Pagan/gentile influences. However, if these latter asserted themselves in Christianity, it only proves emphatically that Christianity got them from Therapeutism but did not first generate it.

We believe that we have shown it is inadmissible to rely on Eusebius' report, to turn the Therapeuts into Christian monks, and to attribute De Vita Contemplativa to a Christian author of the 3rd or even 4th Century AD. We are convinced that if this writing really only dates from then, it would have had to be criticized as a forgery all the more, since Asceticism had opponents in the Christian camp at that time. And how easy it should have been for these opponents to recognize and brand the book that had just appeared as a fake! The fact that there was not a single voice against the authenticity of this writing at that time proves enough that it has been found among the Philonic writings since time immemorial; that is why it could not be challenged.

{p.73} If we want to investigate whether the Therapeuts depicted in DVC can fit in the history of Alexandrian Judaism, in the absence of other sources we must consult now Philo’s writings. But here, even if we completely refrain from writing about the Therapeuts, they provide us with such rich material for building a Therapeutism that it is bizarre to see what’s so close at hand quite neglected, and to use very remote and sterile areas which – even forced to explain the appearance of Therapeutism – cannot do so. A simple comparison of the contemplative (or rather ‘beheld’) life sought by the Therapeut with that sermonized everywhere by Philo must vindicate this astonishing sight.

Let us first hear what DVC emphasizes as the characteristics which signify and accentuate Therapeutism in particular: its main aim is to overcome {p.74} the sensual, to look at the Deity, to comprehend the pure Truth. The way to do this is Asceticism, mortification to stultify the body for spiritual uplift. They are called Therapeutae/Theraputides either because they heal souls suffering from perilous maladies or because they have learned to worship the True Being from Nature and the sacred Laws. In their irrepressible impulse to explore the naked truth, they soar above the visible sun, carried away by their love for the heavenly. Aspiring for a blessed life, they believe that the terrestrial one has already been completed and hand over their possessions to relatives, or in the absence of such, to servants and friends, so to flee – no longer attracted to anything Earthly – brothers, children, women, parents, relatives and Country in which they were born and reared. However, they do not emigrate to another city in the manner of slaves who only wish to change their masters – for example: because every city, even the most orderly one, is full of unrest and disorder – whereas a contemplative life is devoted to the study of wisdom. Rather, they retreat to solitude, seek out quiet gardens and desolate places for their exercises, both not from misanthropy but rather so as not to have to deal with people who are very different in their character and activity, and harmful to the work they need. People of this kind can be found in all directions of the world – since it is fair that Greeks and barbarians equally share in the perfect Good25) – but they are often found in Egypt and especially in the environs around Alexandria. Because from all regions the most excellent of the Therapeuts come, as if their country were here. Their houses are exceedingly simple and have no other purpose than to protect them from the heat of summer and cold of winter. They are not built side-by-side, as in towns, for otherwise their residents would interfere with each other's sacred contemplations if the neighborhood were too crowded. They are also not too far from each other, because the Therapeuts like fellowship and also want to protect each other from rapacious {p.75} incursions. Every one has a small sanctuary in their apartment, called a semneion or monasterion, where they practice the mysteries of a consecrated life in deep seclusion. In this sanctuary there is neither food nor drink, nor anything else necessary for the bodily needs, but only the sacred books of Law, the oracles of the prophets, hymns and everything else, by which wisdom and piety are promoted and perfected. They are always so full of the Godhead that even in their dreams nothing other than the beauty of the divine powers flashes before them.26) Many even divulge the most sublime tenets of their sacred philosophy in their sleep. They are accustomed to praying twice a day, at morning and evening. At sunrise they pray that God may bless the day so that their spirit will be illuminated by the heavenly light, at sunset again that their soul, freed from everything earthly and sensual, may investigate the truth in quiet solitude. They spend the period from morning to evening in pious contemplation. They interpret the Holy Scriptures allegorically because they believe the words are only signs and symbols of secret truths. They also have writings from men of old, who, as founders of their sect, have left them many memorials of allegorical wisdom, which they take as a model when contemplating them. They also write metric hymns to praise God.

This is how they live through six days of the week, each secluded in their own monastery, immersed in philosophical contemplation. On the seventh day, however, they come together for a common assembly, seated in grave modesty according to age, their right hand crossed across their chests, their left hanging down to the side. Then the eldest, the most experienced in wisdom, rises and gives a deeply meaningful lecture that is totally unlike the smooth talk of Rhetoricians or Sophists but penetrates into the depths of wisdom and stimulates the listeners powerfully and sustainably. The common sanctuary in which they meet on the seventh day {p.76} consists of two divisions: one for men and the other for women, because it is customary for them that women also take part in these lectures. Temperance is the cornerstone on which they base all other virtues. Before sunset, none of them consume food and drink, since they believe that the study of wisdom alone is worthy of being cultured in daylight, but that the satisfaction of bodily needs is nevertheless a work of darkness; that is why they give day to one and night to the other. Some of them delve so deeply into their studies that they are often without food for three days, others even for six days. They consider the seventh day to be particularly sacred and on the same day give – besides the spirit – the body more care. Nevertheless, they also enjoy this bread, only seasoned with salt, while the softer among them also use hyssop; for drinking, they use spring-water. In this way they subdue the two powers that subjugate the human race: Hunger and Thirst, by only granting them what is absolutely necessary for the maintenance of life. Their clothes are as simple as their abode: the only purpose is to protect against heat and cold. In winter they use a woolly outer-dress, in summer a light under-dress or a linen robe, because they strive particularly for simplicity (which they see as the source of wisdom as well as Vanity as the source of falsehood)... Our book then points to the much-praised Greek and Roman meals and contrasts them with the holy meal of the Therapeuts “who devoted their careers and themselves to science and contemplation of Nature according to the most sacred teachings of the Prophet Moses.” These, it goes on to say, gather every seven weeks, because they revere not only the simple seven but also its multiples, knowing it to be pure and eternally virgin. When they have assembled, in white robes, with a solemn and cheerful face, standing in line until a sign to recline given by one of the ephemereutae {rotating sidesman} […] before they sit down, and raising their eyes and their hands to heaven […] they pray to God that the meal may be […] pleasing.

25) ἔδει γὰρ ἀγαθοῦ τελείου μετασχεῖν καὶ τὴν Ἑλλάδα καὶ τὴν βάρβαρον, etc.
26) τῶν θείων ...δυνάμεων {=the Divine Power}. This passage alone reveals the Alexandrian-Jewish character of DVC.

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Friedländer’s On the Origin of Christianity ...[1894], Part 5

Post by billd89 » Thu Aug 20, 2020 4:08 am

{p.77} After the prayers, the elders settle down first. Others follow them one after another, whereby not age but degrees already achieved in the order are authoritative. For seniority does not apply to the most aged – but to those who from earliest youth devoted themselves to the contemplative part of philosophy, which is the most beautiful and most divine. Women participate in the meal also: mostly, they are elderly virgins who, however, do not inevitably maintain their chastity – as do certain priestesses among the Greeks – but by free choice, for love of Wisdom. In constant contact with this, they despise all sensual delights, not desirous for mortal descendants, but for immortals, which only a God-gifted soul, fertilized by the heavenly rays, can generate. At the meal, men lie on the right – on the left, separately, women – but all on extremely simple and cheap cushions. No slaves do them service, because they believe that bondage is totally against Nature, which creates all men as free. Only greed, the source of evils and overcoming natural law, created inequality among people and subjugated the weaker to the stronger. If they have now settled in the manner described, the actual meal does not begin at all, now there is even more silence than before, since no one dares to breathe comfortably. One addresses a passage from the Holy Scripture before, or explains one presented to him without worrying much about fine talk. The interpretation of the verse is allegorical, because they view the whole of the Law as an organic entity, comparing the body with the words but the Soul with the deeper meaning hidden under the words, which is why their entire striving is also directed towards the unveiling of this exalted Mind. According to the description of the pagan elements, our tract concludes with the following words: “So much then for the Therapeuts who devoted themselves to the contemplation of nature and who have lived in the soul alone, citizens of heaven and the world; they were truly commendable to the Father and Creator of the universe because of {p.78} their virtue, which has procured them his love as their most appropriate reward of piety, which far surpasses all happiness, and conducts them to the very summit of bliss.” 27)

In this report, what in the world suggests Christian circumstances or implies a Christian author? Instead, an Alexandrian Jew of the Philonic period peers out from every line. What is the guiding principle of the Therapeutism described here? The mortification of sensuality mediates asceticism in order to arrive at the final, longingly desired view of God. But this is the very own product of Alexandrian Judaism, which is available to us from Philo in its perfection, but long before this had fertilized the ground for Therapeutism to such an extent that at the time of the emergence of Christianity it was already rampant in every nook and cranny. Let let Philo speak for himself instead of longer arguments. He interprets the passage Genesis 38:7: “And Er was base {injurious/of a bad state/oppressed by toils}, contrary to the Lord, and God put him to death,” to mean the Body, and then continues: "God knows that the Body is bad and pernicious for the Soul... So he did not kill Er, the human body, but created it from the beginning as a corpse. By bad, I say, it is natural and pernicious for the soul, but this is only visible to God and his dear ones. Because it says: “He was evil before the Lord.” For when the mind is exalted and initiated into the mysteries of the Lord, it judges the body as something wicked and hostile; but if he has abandoned the exploration of divine things, he considers the body to be his friend, kinsman and brother, and flees to the joys of it. This is where the athlete's soul differs from that of the philosopher. The former is only concerned with the body’s well-being; the friend of wisdom, however, as a lover of virtue, cares for the soul inherent in him regardless of the dead body, by only striving to ensure that the most excellent, {p.79} the soul, of the bad and dead body will not be damaged. Can't you see that He wasn't killed by the Lord but by God? So not in his capacity or power as Ruler and Governor, but in his kindness and love that he kills the body... And when, O soul, will you be best convinced that you carry something dead with you – namely the body? Will it not be, when you perfect the soul, worthy of praise and glory? For then you will love God, not the body; and you will receive the prize, if the bride of Judah, Tamar, becomes your wife, because Tamar means palm, the symbol of victory. Proof that when Er obtained these, when he married her, he was at once recognized as bad and slain. Because it says: “And Judah took a wife for him, his firstborn, her name was Tamar.” And immediately afterwards: “But he angered the Lord, therefore God killed him,” because when the mind has attained the prize of virtue, it condemns the body as something dead.”28)

That surely means what’s stated clearly. The following passage is no less clear: “The main reason for our ignorance is the flesh, and our inseparable connection with the flesh. As Moses himself says: ‘Because they are flesh, the divine breath cannot remain in them. Marriage, child-rearing, provision of necessities, ignominy in poverty, and the business of private and public life, and a countless other things cause the flower of wisdom to wither before it blooms. However, nothing so greatly hinders its growth as the carnal nature. It is ready-laid for them as the first and principal foundation of folly and ignorance, and upon which each of these rise as a building. For those souls disembodied of flesh, unhindered in the theatre of the universe, enjoy seeing and hearing the divine, which they have desired with a love insatiable. But those who bear the heavy burden of the flesh, weighed down and oppressed by it, cannot look upwards [...]. For this reason, the lawgiver also determined to put an end to all illegal associations and illegitimate unions, issuing the following prohibition: “Man shall not come near to any who is akin to his own flesh… I am the Lord.” {Leviticus 18:6.} What exhortation to despise the flesh and what is pertains to flesh could be stronger? But he not only warns us to abandon such things, he shows positively the true man never voluntarily approaches pleasures who are friends and kin of the body, but will always be meditating to estrange himself from them. For the saying, “Man, man,” not once but twice, is a sign that what is here meant is not the man of mixed Body and Soul, but only the man whose life is one of virtue. He is indeed the genuine man, of whom an ancient philosopher spoke, lighting a lantern at noon and telling those who asked why: “I am seeking for a man.” Again, there is a cogent reason for a man to avoid the corporeal kin. Even as there are some things we must allow (for instance: the necessities of life, by which we may live free from disease and in good health), there are other things we must reject: scorn the superfluous appetites that kindle passions, which torch all goodness in a fire-storm…”29) — And in the same book it continues: “As with most men, that is to say, among those who have set many goals in life, the divine spirit does not abide, even though it sojourn there for a short time {p.81}. but it remains among one species of men alone, namely, among those who, themselves disrobed of everything earthly, and of the inmost veil and wrapping of false opinion, come to God in their unhampered and pure minds. Thus also Moses, having pitched his tent outside the camp and whole the corporeal army, {Exodus 33:7} that is to say, steadfastly determined his mind, so he begins to worship God, and having entered into the darkness, that invisible land, and abided there to be initiated into the most sacred mysteries…”30)

27) DVC, Mangey II, 486.
28) Legum Allegoriae I, p.100 sq. {?? 3.22.71}
29) De Gigantibus I, 266 sq. {VII.29-} Compare the following passages in DVC {4/34-37}, where the Therapeuts praise it: “They have first of all laid down temperance as a foundation for the soul to rest upon, proceeding to build up other virtues on this foundation, as it were. Nobody takes any food or drink before sunset, since they judge philosophising something worthy of the light, but care for the necessities of the body is suitable only to darkness. – They eat nothing luxurious, just bread with salt. Their drink is spring-water. So they satisfy the two tyrants to which nature subjects the human race, hunger and thirst, but they do not flatter them, only give them what is necessary for life. – Avoid all satiety as the most insidious enemy of the soul and body.” – The passage from the first book De somniis {1.124-6} where Philo links Genesis 28:11 belongs here: “And Jacob found a stone of the place to rest his head," notes this passage also makes good sense literally, because it describes the hard and rough life of the ascetics: (1.124) “lovers of temperance… men who have laid down continence, and frugality, and fortitude, as a cornerstone and foundation for the whole of life… being superior to money, and pleasure, and glory, they look down upon meats and drinks, and everything of that sort, beyond what is necessary to ward off hunger, equally valid against cold and heat… for the sake of the acquisition of virtue… unashamed of ever such cheap or shabby clothes…” {1.126: “using a stone for his pillow”} – Cf. Gfrörer, op. cit., p.429.
30) De Gigantibus I, p.270. {XII. }

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Friedländer’s On the Origin of Christianity ...[1894], Part 6

Post by billd89 » Thu Aug 20, 2020 4:10 am

Similarly, Philo remarks in another place: “Among men, some attach to the devotion of the Soul, others to the Body. The companions of the Soul, who are able to associate with the incorporeal natures, appreciable only by the intellect, do not compare the True Being with any species of created beings, but dissociating it with any idea of distinctive qualities (for this is the only way to achieve God's happiness and supreme bliss) elevate it above all Creation, comprehended as formless... But those who have made a compact and truce with the body are unable to cast off from them the garment of flesh…”31)

{p.81} The Bible phrase: “The Lord, God of heaven, who took me from my father's house,”32) gives Philo the opportunity to consider the following: “Whoever lingers in the body and in earthly things cannot be united with God, but only he whom God has released from the prison. [… Isaac,] when he is conversing and discoursing privately with God, leaves by forsaking himself and his own psyche, for it says: “Come forth, O Isaac, to converse in the plain towards Evening.” Likewise, Moses [...] says: “When I come out of the city... “I will spread out my Hands...” Everyone seeking God […] goes out of himself, because when the soul searches for God, it searches by going out of itself. As long as you persist in physical aspirations or in the self-glorifying views, you are not looking for God […] even if you pretend to seek him... The brave man […] escapes from himself turning to the knowledge of the One, and is victorious in the {p.82} honourable race, and in that contest which is of all the most excellent.”33) “Do you therefore, O ridiculous man,” he says elsewhere, “affirm that you will not be able to see God if you are deprived of a superfluity of physical advantages and external goods? But I tell you that even if you are so deprived of them, you will get it; for when you have been released from the unspeakable shackles of the body and physical things, you will attain a clear vision of the uncreated God. Do you not see that Abraham, ‘when he had forsaken his country, his kindred, and his father's House,’ i.e. the body, sensuality, and empirical reason, began to meet the powers of the living God? Because ‘after he left the whole house God appeared to him’…34) “Therefore Moses also pitched his tent outside, to dwell at a distance from the bodily camp, for in that way alone could he hope to become a worthy suppliant and a perfect minister before God… Why then do you talk nonsense, saying, “If thou castest me forth from off the earth, and from thee I shall be hidden.” For one might say on the contrary, if I remove thee from the earth by part of thee, then I will manifestly show thee my own image. And a proof of this is, thou wilt depart from before the face of God, but when thou hast departed thou wilt not the less inhabit thy earthly body. For Moses says, afterwards, “And Cain went forth from before the face of God and dwelt in the Earth...”35)

Philo distinguishes three classes of people: earthly, celestial and godly. Among the latter he counts “the holy people and prophets who do not consider it worthwhile to deal with worldly things, but going beyond all objects of the merely outward senses {everything sensual}, rising up into that world perceptible only to the intellect {i.e. the ideal world} and settle there, being inscribed in the state of incorruptible incorporeal ideas.”36)

But did Philo’s people really have such an outlook and way of life at the time? No doubt; at least Philo himself clearly indicates this in various places.37) In any case, however, the soil of Alexandria, as can already be seen from what has already been said, was productive enough to produce Therapeuts, from whom it was in complete agreement with the previously cited philological passage at the end of DVC means “those who have devoted themselves to the contemplation of Nature, and who have lived in it and in the soul alone, being citizens of heaven.”

Also very significant are Philo’s words about the meaning of atonement. The penitent, he thinks, would get a double price for the double victory gained, by removing vice and choosing virtue. The achievement of this double price: the moving up to another place, and the solitude. Because the writing says of those who flee from the sensual assaults on the soul: “He was no more, because God took him away,” {Genesis 5:24} in which both the escape and the solitude are clearly expressed. “Both” he continues, “are clearly hinted: the migration by change of place and the solitude by losing one’s Self. […] For if a man has truly resolved at all times to prevail over the passions, to spurn all pleasures and all appetites, then he must prepare himself diligently, […] forsaking his home and country, his relations and friends. Because the habit is attractive, so there is fear that if a man stays behind he may be taken prisoner, caught by such powerful charms all round, which – according to old habits – could easily awaken the slumbering desires or dormant appetites for evil pursuits. Accordingly, many have already healed themselves by migrations from their native land, having been cured by such means of their frenzied passions and wicked desires… If someone wants rise up and quit his former abode, let him still avoid the gatherings of the crowd, embracing solitude. In foreign countries there are also nets that we fled at home and in which the unwary can easily become ensnared as soon as they mingle with the crowd. For the multitude is a very concentration of everything irregular, disorderly, malicious, and blameable, and whoever strives for virtue cannot possibly live in society with the same.”38)

Likewise, the following passage, glorifying solitude, seems to have been inscribed on the Therapeut’s body: “For the bad man is by nature corrupt. But the good man, on the contrary, become untroubled by business, withdraws and loves solitude, wishing to escape notice of the crowd, not out of misanthropy (for he is philanthropic, like anybody) but because he eschews wickedness (which the chief part of the multitude loves: rejoicing at what should be mourned and saddened by what should be rejoiced). So for this the good man closes off and mostly stays at home, scarcely crossing the threshold, or – to avoid the crowd […] – he generally quits the city to reside in some country place, and chooses the solitude of the field for his exercises (διατριβάς)39)

31) Quod Deus Sit Immutabilis p.270 {XI.55}
32) Genesis 24:7
33) Legum Allegoriae I,95 sq. {III:XIV.}
34) {The Worse Attacks the Better 44: Loeb [1929] Vol.2 p.307-8} Genesis 4:14.
35) Quod Deterius Potiori Insidiari Soleat I, p.221 sq. {XLIII.158}
36) De Gigantibus I, p.271. {XIII.61}
37) Especially in the classic position Legum Allegoriae I, p.117 sq. which we will revisit.
38) De praemiis et poenis II, 409, 412.{III.16-21} {Also see: De Cherubim 2: “For to him who is not as yet firmly bound by vices, it is open to repent and return to the virtue, from which he was driven, as to his fatherland. But he that is weighed down and enslaved by that fierce and incurable malady…”}
39, De Abrahamo. {III.21 – IV.23} Cf. Gfrörer I, p.443. Compare the following passage in DVC {III.18}:“When [they] abandon their property […],they will invariably flee, deserting their brethren, children, wives, parents […], their fatherlands [...] because long familiarity is a powerful allure. (19) But they do not emigrate to another city as one full of restlessness and indescribable hustle and bustle – which one struck by wisdom cannot bear – but to do their exercises (διατριβάς) outside the walls, in gardens and solitary fields looking for for a deserted place, not because of any ill-natured misanthropy […] but because they know that dealing with people of wholly dissimilar dispositions is unprofitable and harmful.”
The citation from Eusebius, Demonstratio Evangelica I.9, which Lucius brings into the discusion to confirm the presence of Christian ascetics at the beginning of the Fourth Century AD, is very weak. The main proof in relation to this is: “It is above all the passage from Demonstratio Evangelica I.9 that has already been highlighted, where Eusebius distinguishes a two-fold way of life. Those who follow the perfect (ὁ ὲντολὴς τρόπος) do not care about marriage and child production, about earthly possessions: their change is completely alienated from the usual way of living. They devote themselves solely to the service of God, consider themselves to have died to the earthly life, are only still in body on earth, and so on. Is it possible to mark a contempt for the world in sharper outlines? The ascetics who are described here (because we can only speak of such in our position) have broken as completely as possible with the world and with ordinary life. It is the most extreme level of asceticism featured here.” – Well, we believe that Philo portrays the contempt of the world of pre-Christian Jewish ascetics numerous times in much sharper outlines, and that Christian ascetics identified in the passage drawn here by Lucius, if there is any mention of them at all, have nothing more in common with the philosophical therapists of DVC than outward appearances. At least, we very much doubt whether these ‘Christian’ Ascetics could have given suggestions for the drafting of DVC.

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Friedländer’s On the Origin of Christianity ...[1894], Part 7

Post by billd89 » Thu Aug 20, 2020 4:13 am

{p.85} Another infallible prop for the ‘Christian’ character of the Therapeuts is to be seen in the fact that DVC also speaks of Therapeutides. This participation of women in an ascetic-philosophical way of life” – says Lucius – “a position that is equal to that of men in the Therapeut colony, remains a noticeable riddle as long as one considers the Therapeuts as Jews, because all of this is in the starkest contrast to the other information and judgments about the female gender which have come to us from the period where DVC situates their heroes. At that time, a Philo – who can be regarded as the most emancipated of his Jewish compatriots – considered a woman of short understanding, limited spirit, and incapable of any higher thinking or ascetic practice.”40) And in another spot: “For women, according to Philo, the ascetic-theoretical life had to be almost impossible. For him, the female gender personifies sensuality; he describes it as incapable of any higher thinking... This same Philo should have suddenly approved and glorified in DVC, what he otherwise rejected? Would he have suddenly and completely changed his view of the inadequacy of the female sex to any higher spiritual life, would he have given women the same intellectual ability and the same rights as men and spoken the word together for a philosophical purpose? Is this far-reaching change in Philo's opinon unseen, except for DVC?” 41)

Well, we shall see Philo asks himself the same question that Lucius raises here and resolves it satisfactorily. For him, the Woman means sensuality, but only to the extent that she does not become a Therapeut, for as soon as the sensual is rejected, as {p.86} she becomes a virtue. “When Sarah” – this is a frequently recurring view in Philo – “had ceased all feminine Affections, when the passion of joy and cheerfulness was dead, her God appeared in solitude and she became pregnant with Isaac, the symbol of happiness.”42) According to him, everything depends on the husband to whom the woman is associated: since Lamech took women, he took with him the greatest evils. On the other hand, since Abraham, Jacob, and Aaron took women, they united with what was good for them.43) But let Philo himself resolve the contradiction arising from his theory about women; to the words of the Scriptures: “Adam knew his Wife {=Eve}, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Cain. She said, ‘I have won a man through God.’ Later she bore his brother Abel.” Philo makes the following remarkable observation: “These men, to whose virtue the Scriptures bear testimony, are not represented as knowing their wives – such as Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, and others of like similar spirit. For we have said that ‘woman’ is understood symbolically as Sense-Perception {=Sensuality}, and since Wisdom consists in alienation from the outward bodily sense, it is clear that the lovers of Wisdom must repudiate Sensuality rather than claim it as their own. Isn't that the case? For such helpmeets of these men are indeed called ‘women’ in name but are ‘Virtues’ in reality. Sarah is ‘Ruler and Guide’, Rebecca is ‘Persistence in excellence’; Leah again is ‘Perseverance’ {=Fortitude}, wearying through disappointment at the long exertion which every fool declines, avoids, and denies; and Zipporah, wife of Moses and so-called Winged, is soaring upwards from earth to heaven, to contemplate there the nature of things divine and blissful. – So we may describe the conception and the birth of virtues, let the idolaters close their ears and depart, because we only reveal the divine secrets to those worthy of being initiated into these sacred mysteries: those who with all humility, practice true and genuine piety {p.87} … Let us begin our explanation of these mysteries in this way. The man unites with the woman to father children. But it is not lawful for virtues, which bear many noble things, to come together with a mortal husband. … Who is it now, except God, Father and Creator of the universe, who sows the seed of Good in them? So God fertilizes, but gives away the fruit because he needs nothing for himself. […] As the best witness to what has been said, I want to call on the most holy Moses.{Genesis 21:1} He lets Sarah get pregnant, when God looked upon her in solitude. He represents her bringing forth son, not to the Beholder, but to him who strives for Wisdom: Abraham. And He shows this lesson even more clearly in Leah, where it says: "God opened her Womb." {Genesis 29:13}, but opening the womb is the man’s business. Now she conceived and gave birth, not for God … but for Jacob, which is to say, the one who is struggling for the noble. This is how virtue receives the divine seed from the Creator but gives her offspring to one of her suitors {Genesis 25:21.} … When the all-wise Isaac addressed his supplications to God, Rebecca (who is Persistence) became pregnant by the agency of Him. – When Moses had Zipporah, {Exodus 2:21.} (that is to say, winged and sublime virtue) without any supplication or entreaty on his part, he found her pregnant and by no mortal man. After you, O initiate, have sanctified your ears to receive these things into your inmost soul as truly sacred mysteries, and do not reveal them to any of the uninitiated, but guard and preserve them with you like a sacred treasure, not in a storehouse in which there are no transitory things like gold and silver, but in that treasurehouse in which the most excellent of all possessions in the world: the knowledge namely of the great first Cause, and of Virtue, and in the third place, of the Generation of both. But if you become perfect, then earnestly pray you labor and make every effort that you may perceive a new mystery and not leave it before you, in obscurity, until you have understood it clearly. {Friedländer omits II.49: I myself was initiated into the Greater Mysteries by Moses, God-Beloved; nevertheless, when I subsequently beheld Jeremiah the Prophet, and learnt that he was not only initiated into the sacred mysteries but was also a competent hierophant or expounder of them, I did not hesitate to become his disciple.} ... For it is fitting for God to converse with an unpolluted, untouched and pure nature, in truth and reality virgin, in a different manner from the intercourse with men44), for the procreation of children turns virgins into women. But when God begins to associate with the soul, He makes that which was previously ‘woman’ now again ‘virgin’, since He destroys and banishes the base and effeminate desires unbecoming a human being, He introduces in their stead genuine, perfect, and unadulterated virtues. Therefore, He will not converse with Sarah until all the women have left her {Genesis 18:11}, and until she has come back to the manner of a chaste virgin.” 45)

Philo speaks of Leah, Jacob's wife, whom he describes as the dispassionate, hated by those who are devoted to sensuality but who are recognized for God's friendship, and continues: “from God she receives the seeds of wisdom, and conceives, and travails, and brings forth virtuous ideas, worthy of the Producer. If you, O my soul, imitate Leah and reject mortal things, you will of necessity turn to the Incorruptible, who will fountain you from all streams of his good.” 46)

40) Lucius , op. cit., , p.164 sq.
41) Ibid. p.105 sq.
42) De Cherubim I, p.140,147; De Posteritate Caini C. p.251.
43) De Posteritate Caini p.239.
44) We should believe that the words here, as well as others in this citation, at least sound just as ‘Christian’ as the most Christian place in DVC.
45) De Cherubim p.146 – 149.
46) De Posteritate Caini p.251. 

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Friedländer’s On the Origin of Christianity ...[1894], Part 8

Post by billd89 » Thu Aug 20, 2020 4:15 am

{p.88} Referring to Genesis 38:11, he says in another passage on Tamar: “You too were ordered to settle as a widow in the house of the only and saving Father, for whose sake she gives up associating with mortals and so, all deprived of human pleasures, instead receives divine offspring and, filled with the seeds of virtues, becomes pregnant and gives birth to noble acts; once she has produced them, she wins the victory-prize despite the opponents and is declared the winner by carrying away the palm as a testimony to the victory, because Tamar means ‘the Palm’.” 47)

We have reproduced these philosophical utterances, praising and commending the Therapeuts, to show, {p.89} on the one hand, that the involvement of women in the Therapeuts’ lifestyle – even if viewed as Jews – was by no means an “inexplicable riddle” (as Lucius wants to make believe), and on the other hand, to refute the claim of a Christian character in the DVC. In this writing what is branded ‘Christian’ could just as well and for a better reason be described as ‘Alexandrian’. The tractate On the Contemplative Life also stands – in relation to the Therapeuts – on Judeo-Alexanderian soil and can only be made into a Christian product if – as Eusebius has it – the last and most brilliant representative of Alexandrian Judaism, Philo, becomes a Christian.

But, one thinks, the Therapeuts cannot possibly have been Jews, since our writing presupposes they are distributed throughout the world but especially in all of Egypt. “If the Therapeuts” – concludes Lucius48) – “had been philosophico-ascetic Jews, then it would not be cheap to accuse a man like Philo of such a foolish assertion. But as impossible as it is to be related to Jewish Therapeuts, that claim fits perfectly with Christian Therapeuts, i.e. with ascetics. For by the end of the Third Century AD, according to strongly exaggerated claims of Christian writers, Christianity was spread all over the world;... in Egypt – of particular consideration here – there were numerous Christians; ... but everywhere where there were Christians (according to the testimony of Church writers) some cultivated asceticism, which can be adequately explained by the fact that everywhere there is contempt for the world, the battle against the sensual, the merit of an ascetic life, the proximate end of the world, etc., preached in the same way. "

{p.90} But is this conclusion also valid? Not at all. How would it be a silly claim for a man like Philo (or his contemporary) to speak of Therapeutism all across the world? If this claim is spurious, then so is the following (as Philo himself said): “only the Mosaic laws remained firm, unshakable and indestructible” – whereas other peoples’ legislation has been changed for numberless causes – “as the seal of the Nature itself designates, from the day of its judgment uninterrupted to our time, and they will reliably exist … as long as the sun, moon, heaven, and universe exist. There is something surely still more wonderful — apart from the Jews, almost every other people, especially those who strive for virtue, are filled with veneration for our laws. … Throughout the world of Greeks and barbarians, there is practically no state that honours the institutions of any other. Indeed, they hardly observe their own. ... This is not the case with our laws; because they have attracted and won over almost all, of Greeks, of landlocked and island dwellers, the nations East and West, of Europe and Asia, of the entire inhabited world from end to end. Who does not venerate the holy seventh day?... Who doesn't revere the so-called fast?...” 49)

Yet this assertion is by no means absurd; for it is not only repeated by Josephus, and indeed reiterated, but also literally confirmed by Strabo. The former commented on this as follows: “There is not a single Greek or barbarian city where our custom of celebrating the Seventh Day has not spread, and where fasting, light festivals and many of our food prohibitions are not observed. But they also trying to imitate our mutual harmony, charity of our possessions, industriousness in trades and fortitude in hardships under the law. The shining miracle, however, is that the Law, stronger than stimuli to the senses, has established itself as indestructible. Just as God himself pervades throughout the world, so the Law has marched through all mankind {p.91}.”50) – And in another place: “As is known, the Jewish nation has dispersed all over the world among the inhabitants. So by reason of its neighbourhood, the Jews settled in particularly large numbers in Syria, and preferably in Antioch because of the size of the city. Their settlement there was mainly favored by the Kings after Antiochus. Antiochus Epiphanes had conquered Jerusalem and plundered the Temple, but his successors returned the stolen bronze temple donations to the Antioch Jews for their synagogue, and they also granted them the same civil rights as the Greeks. Treated just as humanely by later Kings, the Jews multiplied immensely. ... Because then a lot of Greeks became proselytes of their worship, so to speak, they also drew them into their own circle.”51)

Strabo’s report (which belongs here) reads in a similar and very significant way: “In the city of Cyrene there were four classes of inhabitants: citizens, farmers, resident aliens, and Jews. The Jews are already widespread in every city, and it is not easy to find a place in the world that does not house this people and that is not under its control. So it has come to pass that Egypt and Cyrenea, which have fallen into their hands, and many other cities imitate their way of living, are especially devoted to the great multitude of Jews and become powerful with them, living according to the traditional customs of the Jews.” 52)

Therefore, if the Jewish people in Philo's time had gained such a wide diffusion in the world (and especially in Egypt, which according to Strabo's report was entirely in their hands) and if they also knew how to attract Greeks in great numbers to their religious customs and customs, so this was not, however to the merit of exclusive Palestinian (heavily burdened with ceremonies) but rather to that of universalistic Alexandrian Judaism which (by means of allegory, merged the Mosaic with Greek philosophy) crumbled the firmly established structure of heavily oppressive

47) Quod Deus Sit Immutabilis p.293. These very own words of Philo are certainly just as ‘Christian’ as the following passage in DVC designated as Christian: “Women also participate in the meal, mostly elderly with virginal purity, not out of coercion... but rather out of free will, animated by the most zealous striving for Wisdom, which they long to deal with and neglect the joys of the body, not for mortal, but for immortal fruits, which only the God-beloved soul is able to produce from itself, fertilized by the spiritual ray of the Father, through which they can see the teachings of Wisdom.” — Lucius claims of this last sentence, “that it is difficult to deny its Christian character.”, op. cit., p.166.
48) op. cit., p.162.
49) De Vita Mosis II. 136 sq. {2.14-23}
50) Contra Apionem II, c.39.
51) Bellum Judaicum L. VII, 3, 3.
52) Antiquitates Iudaicae XIV, 7, 2.

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Friedländer’s On the Origin of Christianity ...[1894], Part 9

Post by billd89 » Thu Aug 20, 2020 4:17 am

{p.92} ceremonies, and thereby become rulers of the whole of what had become a vast diaspora. The most extreme trend of Alexandrian Judaism, however, was paid homage to by Therapeutism, which demolished all stifling and restrictive religious forms and spiritualized the Mosaic. As DVC reports, this latter had ‘his nursery/seminary and actual fatherland’ in the vicinity of Alexandria, from whence they sent their apostles to propagate their teachings in all directions of the compass-rose. So it will not seem silly to us when the Therapeuts tell us, in DVC: “People of this kind can be found in all directions of the world, since it is bountiful that Greeks and barbarians equally share in the perfectly good.”

To the suggestion the drafting of this tract came from the Therapeuts is firstly the fact that Philo had not only silenced them, but even severely rebuked them, even if they were concealed. Of course, this had to deeply grieve an Alexandrian Jew who raved about Therapeutism. The attitude that Philo – and with him all moderate allegorists of the Alexandrian School, who still observed the traditional religious ceremonies (even if only out of piety for the great ancestors, wanting them to be held sacred) – held in opposition to Therapeutism ultimately leads to this: such formative Therapeutism at the extreme left of Jewish Alexandrinism must totally atrophy and ultimately fall into oblivion.

Only one means (which, however, wasn't one of the unusual at the time) could help. Philo – who gave an enthusiastic eulogy for Essenism – provided enough points of reference: these were too tempting not to attach to DVC likewise. Although this is now a forgery (like many other pseudonymous writings of that memorable time), it contains historical truths. This is taught sufficiently by Philo's works, those formally saturated with Therapeutism.

But as far as the actual tendency of DVC is concerned, it completely coincides with that pursued by the Therapeuts. {p.93} This consisted in: striving for the conversion of the whole world, as is strongly emphasized in our writing, where it says: “People of this kind can be found in all places on earth, because both Hellas and the barbarian countries ought to participate in the highest Perfection.”53)

Of course, with such a tendency the Therapeuts had not only to push into the background everything restrictive, ceremonial, as well as purely national – as did even the most moderate Jewish Alexandrinism, represented by Philo – but to dissolve {Mosaic Judaism} into its atoms and make it vanish, so as not to to close off access to truth (through exotic forms and burdens) by the pagan world. Allegory pressed into their hands the most effective weapon to destroy all unfavourable religious ceremonies. And they also made the most extensive use of this weapon (borrowed from Alexandrian Judaism) which they mostly wore as an adorning virtue. Hence the Un-Jewish element in Jewish Therapeutism. Everywhere here new wine is poured in old casks, and an Alexandrian Jew (even if still, like Philo, ethnically-minded) had to be filled with anxiety when he saw how easily these casks – already cracking at every joint – could by the new fermentation be completely shattered (which actually happened soon afterwards).

Therapeutism had only taken Alexandrian Judaism to its final consequences, theories were merely put into practice. Though starting from a Jewish basis everywhere, it rises so far above it, so high it loses all solid ground beneath its feet: there is scarcely any tangible vestige of national Jewry left here. It does celebrates the Sabbath and other Jewish festivals, but these are Jewish in name only, their content is alien, philosophical, which is just as repulsive to the orthodox Jews (who saw in it a profanation of their time-honored customs) as it is attractive to the Graeco-Pagan world in which it had to work. Therapeuts nevertheless considered themselves Jews, and {p.94} indeed the most perfect. Allegory helped them smooth over all the imperfections of the Biblical religion, fired their imagination, which stormed over all isolating and divisive religious forms ‘striving for the naked truth.’ — It was different with the Essenes, who were related to them. These also went beyond orthodox Judaism in many ways, but they always kept up appearances, circumstances which Judea forced, and never severed the albeit loosened bond. They had broken with the sacrificial service {=korban}, but they documented their national sentiments by sending votive offerings to the Temple in Jerusalem. In short, despite all their disintegrative philosophy, they observed the external forms of the Jewish religion, just as moderate allegorists of Alexandria did. That is why Philo glorified them, while the Therapeuts are harshly rebuked, censured by him.

Here, we want to cite only one passage (as every impartial person will notice, at first glance) which is directed against Therapeutism. It reads: “He is truly blessed and celebrated among people, to whom God has granted both: that he is virtuous and that he appears so. You must also take care of your reputation because it is very beneficial in life. This, however, only falls to the fair lot of those who, contented with the traditional customs, do not interfere, but carefully observe the national statutes and institutions. For some who consider the written laws to be symbols of spiritual teachings struggle with the interpretation of them, neglecting them badly. I have to blame such people for carelessness. Because you must careful about both, an accurate investigation of invisible things and also to an irreproachable observance of what is open. But such men now live solitarily by themselves, as if they were in a desert, or disembodied souls54) and as though they knew no city, no village, no household, no human company at all; they overlook all that is pleasing to the crowd and seek and strive for the naked Truth itself.55) {p.95} Holy Scripture warns such people not to disregard good reputation, nor to change any customs which divine men of greater wisdom than any in our time have enacted or established. For even if the deeper meaning is hidden under the celebration of the Sabbath that God alone has power also that the creature is entitled to rest from his labours, it does not follow that we may abrogate the laws which are established respecting its holiness. ... And if every festival is actually only a symbol of the joy of the soul and gratitude to God, we should not give up the ordained celebrations. ... Because if we only wanted to hold onto the higher meaning, then we would have to discard the Temple service and a thousand other things. …”56)

We believe that the Therapeuts are drawn here with such pithy lines they can hardly be misjudged. The request is made of them to carefully observe national statutes and customs. Among those who hold the written laws to be symbols of spiritual teachings and only endeavor to penetrate them, who furthermore live alone, who want to strive for the naked truth and who defy the letter of the law and the sacred religious customs of the crowd: only the Therapeuts can be meant. — And, as if Philo had still worried that the drawing was too blurry, not clear enough, he closes this rebuke with with a picture borrowed from Therapeutism, which alone shows where those criticized here are to be sought.

53) ἀγαθοῦ τελείου {=perfect good, consummate goodness}.
54) {90:} νυνὶ δ’ ὥσπερ ἐν ἐρημίᾳ καθ’ ἑαυτοὺς μόνοι ζῶντες κτλ.
55) {90:} τὴν ἀλήθειαν γυμνὴν αὐτὴν ἐφ’ ἑαυτῆς ἐρευνῶσιν• Cf. DVC II, 484 {78}: γυμνὰ δὲ εἰς φῶς προαγαγοῦσα τὰ ἐνθύμια κτλ. {=brings forth the thoughts and sets bare to the light of day for those who who need little reminding to enable them to view the invisible through the visible/ discern the inward and hidden through the outward and visible.}
56) De Migratione Abrahami I, 450. {1.16;88} Cf. Gfrörer I, p.104 sq.; Dähne I, p.66 sq.

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