The Amazing Barnabas Part 3 INCREDIBLE background

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The Amazing Barnabas Part 3 INCREDIBLE background

Post by Apologeticsislying » Thu Jan 02, 2020 7:47 pm

This is, I believe, my third installment concerning the amazing Epistle of Barnabas. The more I look, the more I find. It really is amazing actually! However, I have cut out the earlier posts and eliminate the footnotes except for this section which I call Excursus the Second. Therefore you don't have to wade through all the former stuff you have read already. If you would like to combine the former posts with this one and print them, it's easy enough to do, I suppose. I am nowhere near done yet, and I suspect this may very well end up being a book. I am immensely enjoying this challenge. I have found some background information on one of the most crucial parts of the Epistle which I have not seen elaborated on by anyone else, so perhaps this is my small contribution to the scholarly discussion of Barnabas. As I say, this is not done yet, but there is enough here to whet your appetite for more, which I am madly at work on. ENJOY!

Excursus The Second
The Epistle of Barnabas provides us with many allusions and quotations, indirect quotations and usage of Old Testament passages that we don’t find anywhere else, along with several that we do know. Chapter 5 and 7 of Barnabas are perhaps the most intriguing scripture interpretation in the entire epistle. While I don’t have all the translations of the Epistle of Barnabas that have been made, I have 4 excellent ones, two from the late 1800’s, shortly after it was discovered by Tischendorf and translated and published, and two very recent, modern ones, and several important critical studies of the Epistle which will help give us a rounded out view of what the Epistle is concerning, namely John Dominic Crossan and Helmut Koester.

In this excursus I will discuss the significance of the scriptures Barnabas employs in order to make his points, and discuss his background thinking that might be in his theology based on his choice of scripture and analysis of other early Christians’ exegesis of similar scriptures, e.g., their view of the Servant of Isaiah and their use of the Servant Songs, the different creation scriptures in the LXX, etc. Chapter 5 is the first time Barnabas begins his exposition using Isaiah, though certainly not exhaustively, and he continues periodically throughout the rest of the epistle to make points using Isaiah which I will also note, namely chapter 7. The other reason for choosing this theme, since Barnabas emphasized it, is because it is the most used scripture in the New Testament, Isaiah was their main scripture, and at one point Jesus even said he fulfilled an Isaiah passage which was purported to be a prophecy. The other most important scripture was several of the Psalms, especially Ps. 110, and the Hebrews exposition of the Melchizedek High Priest, all of which I will discuss in due time.

Since it was from Margaret Barker’s discussions of Barnabas, and her conviction that First Temple Theology was the background and basis for the theology and historical view of the early Christians and Jesus’ life and mission, (rather than exclusively from Hellenistic Mystery Religion) I have chosen Barnabas 5 and 7 as examples to analyze because of their use of Isaiah’s Servant Songs, along with Barker’s remarkable scholarship. I shall also bring out other areas in Barnabas and biblical scholarship dealing with the Servant of Isaiah as a check on the importance of the Servant in early Christian understanding concerning Jesus and his fulfilling “prophecies” from antiquity as was claimed by his followers and worshippers. We have fascinating controls now with the Great Isaiah scroll found in the Dead Sea Scrolls, (one of the most complete ones found in the corpus of fragments), and the 11Q Melchizedek scroll which has ideas tying into early Christian understanding of Jesus, among other ancient documents, and various scholarly analysis of that and its importance as well.

R. Scott Chalmers warns though that “Because the Old Testament has undergone such a thorough editing process, it is often extremely difficult to describe adequately the exact nature of any particular polemic.”(65) Polemics about some characteristics of Yahweh, such as His sexuality and mythology were actually suppressed about the deity as was noted many decades ago by T. J. Meek. He also was cheered about how the further advances in information of the Canaanite mythology was changing our understanding. He didn’t know in 1942 about the Dead Sea Scrolls, Nag Hammadi, and other more recent archaeological discoveries which have greatly further changed our picture.(66) Another factor that we ought to consider when working with the Epistle of Barnabas and its use of Old Testament scriptures, is how inspiration can lead to creativity. Adela Yarbro Collins noted that “the early Christians did not have a monopoly of creativity and cultural diversity with regard to liturgy. The Dead Sea Scrolls attest to the fact that the canonical book of Psalms had not attained a fixed form by the first century of the Common Era, and that members of the Community at Qumran continued to write psalms and other songs.”(67)

We ought not to be surprised if other early Christian literature such as the Epistle of Barnabas had different scriptures or at the very least different understandings of scripture than we are used to. This doesn’t necessarily mean everyone who doesn’t think like us is a fraud, or just wrong in their knowledge. Different does not equal wrong. Different does not equal ignorant on either their or our part. Different means different. It is, interestingly enough, precisely the differences that propel us forward into a more complete understanding of how the ancients understood things.

The scriptures which Barnabas scholars have discovered in chapter 5 are , so far as I know, in no particular order, Matthew 20:16; Matthew 22:14; John 1:2; Matthew 9:13; Isaiah 53:5, 7; Proverbs 1:17; Genesis 1:26; Zechariah 13:7; Matthew 26: 31; Psalms 22:20, 16; Isaiah 50:6-7; Mark 2:17; 1 John 4:2; Zechariah 13: 6-7; Mark 14:27; Matthew 20:31; Psalm 22:40; Psalm 119:120. Not all of these are used by Barnabas, some of them are the scholars saying or showing there is a similar idea in the Gospels. So far as we know, there are no direct quotations in Barnabas from any New Testament text, just from the Old Testament.(68) “The major preoccupation of Paul’s mission companion is how scripture should be interpreted.”(69) As such, Koester notes the tradition which Barnabas aligned with was the allegorical view of the scriptures. “One of the important seminal scriptural passages in this process was Isaiah 50:6: ‘I have given my back to scourges, and my cheeks to strokes. I hid my face from shame and spitting.’ Of this passage, the first half is quoted in Barnabas 5:14 in a context which Barnabas develops various elements of the suffering of Jesus without any reference to traditional narrative materials.” [i.e., the canonical Gospels](70) I will discuss that shortly, for now, Barker’s point is important to realize where Barnabas takes this – “The Epistle of Barnabas, chapters 5 and 7, compares Jesus to the scapegoat.” [of the ancient Jewish atonement sacrificial rites].(71) Ehrman succinctly sums it up saying “A good deal of the book, [Epistle of Barnabas] therefore, tries to show how Christ and the Christian religion were foreshadowed in the Old Testament scriptures.”(72)

Barnabas’s philosophy and idea was to show that Christianity was the true religion. In doing so he did not get rid of the Old Testament as Marcion his contemporary did, rather he claimed “to be rooted in the ancient traditions [the Old Testament materials] that they had inherited – found in the Jewish scriptures, whose oldest parts were produced long before Homer, let alone Plato…”(73) Justin and several other of the early Church Fathers, (including Barnabas) were not saying the Old Testament was useless, as Marcion ultimately did, but that when it was properly interpreted, i.e. allegorized, it pointed to Jesus Christ and his sacrifice for all, therefore it is not rejected by Christians.(74) The Old Testament contained much teaching valuable for lessons of their new and difficult Christian life as the First Epistle of Clement (30-100 CE) showed to the Corinthians who were suffering schism so early on.(75) It was with Marcion that we now begin to see Christians against Christians instead of Christians only against Jews, as Tertullian wrote 5 entire books against Marcion!(76)

Later than Barnabas, and similar to his exegesis, we find Tertullian allegorized with the best of them as he taught that Jesus was to introduce a second people (he says “us”) to the covenant and Gospel, “not through Moses… but through Joshua [Jesus] (that is, through the new law’s grace) after our circumcision with ‘a knife of rock’ (that is, with Christ’s precepts, for Christ is in many ways and figures predicted as a rock)… for He who ever spake to Moses was the Son of God Himself; who too, was always seen.” (emphasis in the original).(77) This is clearly a stab against the “apostate” Jews which the books of Enoch had branded onto the Second Temple generation who returned from the Babylonian exile and rebuilt an apostate temple. One of their main tenants of their emphasis in the Moses tradition which they wished to over rule the First Temple traditions of angels, the holy of holies in the temple, ascensions of humans to divinity, was the literal truth that God was to be seen. This was “Clement’s ‘Secret Tradition’ in early Christianity” as well.(78) Here Tertullian emphasizes that teaching.

Now Barnabas takes a path of literalness, and now another of allegory to weave and craft his theological defense of Christians. Though he is one of the early Apostolic Fathers, Barnabas is not the lone voice allegorizing the scriptures of the Old Testament in his teachings. In The First Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians, (30-100 CE – about 30 years earlier than Barnabas) Clement allegorizes the story of Rahab the Harlot who worked with Joshua, as well as other Old Testament figures which, according to Clement, “made it manifest that redemption should flow through the blood of the Lord to all them that believe and hope in God.” The editor of the ANF also says “Others of the Father adopt the same allegorical interpretation, e.g., Justin Martyr, Dialogue with Trypho, n. 111; Irenaeus, Adver. Haer., iv, 20. [The whole matter of symbolism under the law must be more thoroughly studied if we would account for such strong language as is here applied to a poetical or rhetorical figure.]”(79) The Epistle of Ignatius to the Magnesians (A.D. 30-107) says “The prophets were his servants, and foresaw Him by the Spirit, and waited for Him as their teacher, and expected Him as their Lord and Savior saying ‘He will come and save us.’” And then quotes Isaiah 35:4.(80) Bart Ehrman translates another point of Ignatius as “For the most divine prophets lived according to Jesus Christ.”(81) Ignatius is using the Old Testament prophets. Dodd noted it wasn’t until around 200 AD that a New Testament like ours was in existence.(82)

But the Apostolic Fathers did not originate this attitude. We know from the New Testament writer Luke, the author of Acts also “desire[d] to represent Christ as the Savior of the world, accepted by Gentiles but rejected by His own people, is the main theme of the Acts.”(83) And on any reading of Paul’s letters we find him putting Jesus into everything he quotes from the Old Testament. Everything for him points right at Christ Jesus. “Paul had confidently proclaimed that religion should focus on ‘faith in Jesus Christ’ (Galatians 2:16), not on the works of the law.”(84) James D. G. Dunn said it well – “Grace was the term he had used to sum up the experience of conversion both his own and others, the experience of being grasped by an otherly and effective power without prior condition…As with Christ, this unconditioned experience of divine favour now stood in sharp antithesis to attempts to constrict it within a traditional and characteristically Jewish way of life. So to constrain it was to contradict its character as grace.”(85)

What Barnabas says and means in chapter 2 of his epistle, which will help in grasping his theology in chapter 5, and which causes him to be seen as so virulently anti-Semitic, is that what the Jews took literally as all their commandment and sacrifices, by Barnabas’s reckoning was supposed to be symbolic of Jesus and his law of grace, and/or love described by Barnabas as “without the yoke of compulsion,” following Ehrman, “without the yoke of necessity,” following Sharpe, “from any yoke of restraint,” following Price.

The Greek of “without the yoke of compulsion” is ανευ ξυλου αναγκης which has some interesting cultural and actual physical nuances. The feminine noun αναγκης (anagkes) means “compelling force as opposed to willingness.”(86) This is a huge theological concept here marking off Christians from the Jewish soteriology. Αναγκαξω (anagkazo), constrains something, “whether by threat, entreaty, force or persuasion… Titus, though a Greek, was not ‘compelled’ (ηναγκασθη) to be circumcised, Galatians 2:3, as Galatian converts were.”(87)

This is one of the key watershed moments of Barnabas we simply do not grasp or see from reading the English translation alone. We have no context, no Greek cultural background with which to see the magnitude of this statement, so lets unpack this very important concept. I have not seen other scholars discuss this in any detail (though I haven’t read them all or have access to them all), so perhaps this can be my slight contribution to understanding early Christian thinking for readers unfamiliar with all of this. It is an electrifying moment in Barnabas even though it is merely blasé and being nonchalant, put out there with no emphasis or explanation by Barnabas. It is here, with Barnabas, that the “self-identification” for his Christian group, whoever they are or were, has become separate entirely from the then emerging rabbinic Judaism after the temple’s destruction 70 AD, and even after the Jewish Council of Jamnia, where the canon of the Old Testament was closed in 90 C.E., though there are now new researches probing this deeper.(88) Here the full force of the Christian mentality hits like thunder, and as early as 130, if not earlier. This isn’t Jewish Christianity, it is full blown Christianity in their thinking.

What this is establishing is the allegorical ideology the Apostolic Fathers worked with. It isn’t that Barnabas is the odd man out, as some scholars leave the impression of how almost unchristian it is of him to use this strange method of allegorizing. He is entirely within this allegorical tradition as so many of those who thrived just after the Apostolic era were for the next 60-100 years until we get to the later, more systemized theologians of Irenaeus, Origen, and Tertullian, Justin Martyr, Hippolytus, Cyprian, etc. who all were also allegorizing. St. Augustine just blows the doors off the hinges, but he is for another research project.

The BDAG calls αναγκη (anagke) “a divine dispensation.”(89) So, obviously we are missing out of a lot of information if all we read in translation is “I am forced to…” or something like “you and we are compelled…” “I am more than ever obliged…”etc., why and what is a “divine dispensation?! Lets look into some ancient Greek ideas on the lexical and semantic range of this and see where it gets us. In the TDNT the idea is floated out that αναγκη “is a force which defies all knowledge, which controls all things and which conditions reality.”(90) Colin Brown, editor of the Theologisches Begriffslexikon zum Neuen Testament, describes how “all words based on the word-stem anank- (from an [ank] with reduplication) denote in vary gradations every form of outward or inward pressure which is exerted on men. For the Greeks anankē was the power which determined all reality, the principle which dominated the universe. At various times men ascribed a divine character to it; Plato, in fact, ranked it higher than the gods.”(91)

We are in deep already, and getting to the deep ground, the ideas behind which our current New Testament meaning eventually came around to being, is incredibly fascinating! It wasn’t until Hellenism of the Jews that this became a hypostasis or personal power, the κρατερη Αναγκη “controls being according to Parmenides, and it is the supreme power (κρεισσον ουδεν Αναγκας ηορον) according to Euripides… and Plato in his myth of the hereafter says it was seated at the heart of the world… The Anagke is thus a force which defies all knowledge, which controls all things and which conditions reality.”(92) And just where and how could this idea get into Christianity?

For the ancient Greeks the Ψυχη (Psyche) was “the breath-soul” and it means “I blow,” because it is “the life factor, which perceives and feels…it might be suggest that while in the body actively alive within the confining and controlling organs of intelligence, (the lungs), the soul being a warm vapor, was called θυμος (thymos), but when it passed out with the last breath and became cold it was called Ψυχη.”(93) This Psyche was considered seed as well as breath in both the skull and the spine, and procreation was considered itself breathing or blowing with breath, πνευμα, very explicit in Aristotle. The Ψυχαι were considered “active agents of generation, were conceived to be winds (ανεμοι), and how the Orphic world-egg could be thought to be begotten by a wind.”(94) The Ψυχη was “the Procreative element” and was serpentine in form, a snake. The ancient Greek ωκεανος was the primal Ψυχη and thus would be conceived as a serpent in relation to procreative liquid. The ωκεανος is the river (the “band”) which surrounds the earth in the beginning during the creation.(95)

This is the deep ground beginning of our concept Αναγκη. Epiphanius is said to have told Epicurus “the all was from the beginning like an egg, and the πνευμα in serpent wise around the egg was then a tight band as a wreath or belt around the universe.” Onians continues that the same idea appears in the two conceptions of the Orphic cosmogony which we can now correlate.
First: That the world egg was begotten by a wind (υπηνεμιον ωιον)

The upper part of the egg became Ουρανος (Ouranos) and the lower part, Earth, including Ταρταρος (Tartaros) in its nether depths.”(96)

The serpent as the Ouroboros surrounds the entire Kosmos in a circle with its own tail in its mouth. Carl Schmidt demonstrated in the Pistis Sophia there was a serpent (Dragon) which surrounded the world with its own tail in its mouth also in the Gnostic paradigm – “Die aussere Finsternis ist ein grosser Drache, dessen Schwanz in seinem Munde, indem sie (die Finsternis) ausserhalb der ganzen Welt und die ganze Welt umgiebt.”(97) On the Christian paradigm, the serpent, dragon and devil are all interchangeable images in apocalyptic literatures as Walter Beltz has noted – “Die Bilder vom grossen Drachen, der alten Schlange, von Teufel und Satan fliessen in der apokalyptischen Bilderwelt ineinander.”(98)

Walter Wili has translated some of the Orphic fragments from antiquity. They give a fascinating look into the idea of what redemption is concerning. “In the beginning time created the silver egg of the cosmos. Out of this egg burst Phanes-Dionysius. His name of Phanes unmistakably reveals the root φαν (φανειν, “to bring light”; φανεσθαι, “to shine”),(99)… and he bore within him the seeds of all gods and men.”(100) Hans Leisegang described how Macrobius “called the sun Phanes from φως and φανερος, that is, from ‘light,’ and ‘illumination,’ because it is visible to all and sees all; Dionysius, as the prophet himself says, from δινεισθαι (dineisthai) and περιφερεθαι (peripheresthai), because it moves in a circle. Whence Cleanthes writes that he received this surname from διανυσαι (dianusai) [‘accomplish,’ particularly a journey], because in daily circuit from east to west, bringing forth night and day, it accomplishes the circuit of the heavens. The physicists call Dionysius the Spirit of Zeus because the sun is the spirit of the cosmos, but the cosmos is named heaven which they call Jupiter.”(101)

“We can perhaps also better understand at one and the same time why in this Orphic version the serpent was called Χρονος, [time] and why, when asked what Χρονος was, Pythagoras answered that it was the Ψυχη of the universe. According to Pherekydes it was from the seed of Χρονος that fire and air and water were produced. [“the first cosmic power was Οφιον or Οφιονευς (οφις = serpent) with his consort described as ωκεανις and that after a struggle with Κρονος he dwelt in ωκεανος] This conception of Χρονος, the usual meaning of which is, ‘Time,’ may be related to that of αιων, (aion) which was not only the procreative life-fluid with which the ψυχη was identified, the spinal marrow believed to take the serpent form, but also came to mean ‘lifetime’, period of time, and so ‘eternity.’ For Pindar, αιων meant not only the life-fluid, but also a compelling destiny, a δαιμον controlling life [cf. Socrates daimon!] It is the name Heraclitus gave to the power controlling the changes of the world. For the Orphics Χρονος was mated to Αναγκη, (Anagke – at last!] ‘Necessity’, which also, according to the Pythagoreans, lies around the universe… for the Greeks time and fate were circles.”(102) This is where the image comes from of the gods spinning the fates of mankind.

Turning to the Gospel of John we find all the connections here to Christianity, interestingly enough! After all, “The Christian cosmos can be shown to be directly related, both formally and conceptually, to the Orphic cosmos. Scholastic literature shows how the spherical cosmos of the Middle Ages developed from the Orphic cosmic egg.”(103) For some, this is an uncomfortable situation, knowing that Christianity has borrowed from other traditions. As Joseph Lechner noted “Wenn auch die bisher genannten vor- und auserchristlichen Beeinflussungen den kirchlichen Kult am augenscheinlichsten mitgestaltet haben, so sind es durchaus nicht die einzigen oder letzen, und es ist keineswegs ausgeschlossen, das in der Zukunft nicht auch andere Kultur- und Volksbereiche unserer Liturgie, altere Formen ausschneiden landischen so nun ihn anderen Volkern und Vorstellungen anpassen konnten.” He reassures us that other ideas will continue to be adapted. “Even if the pre-Christian and non-Christian influences mentioned so far have shaped the ecclesiastical cult most clearly, they are by no means the only ones or the last ones, and it is by no means excluded that in the future other cultural and folk areas of our liturgy, older forms cut out so that they could adapt it to other people and ideas.”(104) No religion was ever formed in a vacuum and all of them have adapted and taken into use other ancient forms of other religions and used it for their own. A pristine “original” religion is simply not realistic. We shall see that the Christian conceptions for their doctrines came from the ancient Greeks as well as their own sacred traditions from the First Temple, and other neighbors from antiquity.

The actual and full conception of the Aeon was present in the Bible. “In the Gospel of John, Christ was the ‘light of the world.’ With him began the new Aeon, his birth was the birthday of the world, natalis mundi, and was set on the birthday of Sol Invictus. In the New Testament, he already reveals the characteristics of the Aeon; he is the alpha and omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last, he who is, who was, and who is to come. (Revelation 1:18; 21:6; 22:13). The symbol of the serpent also appears in the Gospel of St. John (3:14): ‘And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up.’ And in the Epistle of Barnabas, the serpent lifted up by Moses is designated (quite independently from the passage in St. John) as the type of Jesus and the counterpart of the Satanic serpent in paradise. (Epistle of Barnabas, XII). And the formula ‘I am the alpha and omega’ leads also to the symbol of the serpent, for the serpent biting its tail was inscribed with the first and last letters of the alphabet as well as with εν το παν, the Aeon formula is transferred to Christ as the One, from whom and through whom and unto whom All is. The figure of the serpent biting its tail is combined with both formulas εν το παν ΑΩ in Alchemy as well.(105)

When Homer says, using the popular idiom of necessity of his day, the impersonal δει, the word often used for being compelled, τι δε δει πολεμιζεμεναι Τρωεσσιν Αργειους – “Why must the Argives wage war against the Trojans?”, (106) Onians says this entirely misses the point and force of what Homer is saying. “The true meaning is ‘What binds them to fight?’”(107) δει when Herodotus uses it “is clearly used of fate…” Robert B. Strassler translates Herodotus as “but it was fated that things would turn out badly for him,” speaking of the fight between the armies of Apries naval battle against the Tyrians.(108) This is important because the other word for fate was our Greek word Barnabas uses, αναγκη which Barnabas assigned to the Law of Moses of the Jews. While the etymology is uncertain, it has been tied to the Greek word αγχειν (agkein) which means “to strangle”, which may lead us to interesting waters since “in which case the binding cord (or serpent) would not be far to seek.

“The Orphics, Pythagoreans, and others conceived of a personal power αναγκη supreme over all. Parmenides speaks of his reality as remaining fast, for mighty αναγκη holds it in bonds of the πειραρ which encloses it around…”(109) The πειραρ can be “a bond around anything is a limit marking its outline and circumscribing its activity… the earth itself for Homer, was surrounded by ωκεαος, the river with an in-dwelling god apparently of serpent form. Epimenides of Crete taught that Styx, female offspring of Okeanos, was mated with Πειρας and their offspring was the snake Εχιδνα. So, for the Sumerians long before, Hubur, the world-encircling steam of salt water, gave birth to Viper, Raging Serpent. In the Epic of Creation, and in the legends of Midgardosrmr, among the sea-going people of the north, was the serpent girdling the earth lying in the sea around all lands and biting its tail. Hesiod says Okeanos, as is the serpent, is wound around the earth, as the snake is the tree of the Hesperides nine times. Porphyry explains that Okeanos had to hold things together and is the basis of the entire world being bound. In an Orphic hymn the circle of Okeanos is a belt around the cosmic deity. The Greek philosophical conception was that of a bond about the universe itself, a circumscribing band, or bond, a boundary, limit, to be surrounded by was to be bound by.(110)

“The Latin term for that which must be, necesse, would most naturally be related to necto, nexus, with an original reference to binding or being bound. Necessitas, elevated into a goddess of fate like the Greek αναγκη, appears in Horace associated also with the mortis loquei.” We are dealing with a primary meaning of ‘fix.’ “What one must do is what one is bound to do.”(111) Instead of finding necessitas being from necto, nexus, Walde prefers ne-ced-tis, unausweichlichkeit, “inevitability.”(112)


65. R. Scott Chalmers, “Who is the Real El? A Reconstruction of the Prophet’s Polemic in Hosea 12:5a,” in The Catholic Biblical Quarterly, 68, (2006): 611.
66. T. J. Meek, “Monotheism and the Religion of Israel,” in Journal of Biblical Literature, 61:1 (1942): 33, note 28. He adroitly notes that all people, including the ancient Hebrews idealized their past, reading what they wanted in their own times back onto the better times as they imagined them. This tendency is “a form of argument that is as old as man.” (p. 42).
67. Adela Yarbro Collins, “Psalms, Philippians 2:6-11, and the Origins of Christology,” in Biblical Interpretation, 11, 3-4, (2002): 361. Cf. Scot McKnight, “Jesus and His Death: Some Recent Scholarship,” in Currents in Research, 9 (2001): 185-228, wherein he describes the truly numerous approaches to scholarship trying to grasp what Jesus thought of his death, and the various creative and speculative, but necessarily tentative and highly informative work and comparison in interpreting this most fascinating aspect of American, German, French, and UK scholars comparing, refuting, supporting, contradicting, coalescing approaches and knowledge. There is an enormous amount of work still to do in Jesus research, believe it or not as McKnight demonstrated almost 20 years ago now! It became apparent that Jesus’ attitude toward the temple was far more important than was previously supposed, which is precisely the background Margaret Barker has been hard at work on for the last 20 years, though she is still for the most part passed over, which is detrimental to scholarship. All views and interpretations need to be assessed and worked through using evidence of scholarship, not just supporting some pet theory because someone or group is comfortable with a particular view.
68. John Dominic Crossan, The Cross that Spoke, p. 121, quoting Helmut Koester, “New Testament writings are never used in Barnabas, neither explicitly nor tacitly, which would argue for an early date, perhaps even before the end of 1 C.E.”
69. Robert M. Price, Pre-Nicene New Testament, p. 1109.
70. Helmut Koester, Ancient Christian Gospels, p. 230.
71. Margaret Barker, The Great High Priest, p. 321, note 29.
72. Bart Ehrman, Lost Scriptures, p. 220.
73. Bart Ehrman, Lost Christianities, p. 144-145. On Marcion and the bitter controversies he caused by bringing together only one Gospel and mostly just the letters of Paul as the entirety of Christian literature, excluding the vast majority of any other Jewish writings, see Jason BeDuhn, The First New Testament, Marcion’s Scriptural Canon, pp. 11-34; Joseph B. Tyson, Marcion and Luke-Acts, A Defining Struggle, pp. 24-49; John Barton, “Marcion Revisited,” in McDonald, Sanders, eds., The Canon Debate, pp. 341-354.
74. Barton, “Marcion Revisited,” p. 351. He notes Marcion likely had misunderstood Paul, as, no doubt, many others did also hence they, like Marcion, rejected the Old Testament. Paul had taught “Christ is the end of the law” (Romans 10:4). Therefore, they threw it [the law] out, which ended up being the entire corpus of Jewish scripture! Barnabas was not in this Marcion camp, he also intended the allegorization of the Old Testament to point to Christ, because the ancient Jewish prophets had prophesied of Christ. Another work which Barton cites taking this tactic with the Old Testament was Melito’s Paschal Homily. (p. 353). Cf. Tertullian “An Answer to the Jews,” ANF, 3:151, where he allegorizes that Rebecca had two peoples, two nations in her womb, one for the Jews, one for the Gentiles – “us” he says. Clement in the Recognitions indicates that Jesus “the True Prophet” appeared to Abraham and taught him “the knowledge of the Divinity.” ANF, Vol. 8: 86. Cf. Tertullian “Against Praxeas,” ANF, Vol. 3: 612b. Cf. “The First Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians,” ANF, Vol. 1:17 – “Look carefully into the scriptures, which are the true utterances of the Holy Spirit.” He is constantly quoting Daniel, the Psalms, Job, Isaiah, etc. In chapter LIII (p. 19) he says “ye understand well the Sacred Scriptures, and ye have looked very earnestly into the oracles of God.”
75. “The First Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians,” in ANF, Vol. 1:6-10. See “The Epistle of Polycarp to the Philippians,” (A.D. 65-100-165) in ANF, Vol. 1: 35 – “I trust that ye are well versed in the Sacred Scriptures, and that nothing is hid from you…” he then quotes Old Testament scriptures such as Ps. 4:5.
76. Tertullian in ANF, Vol. 3, pp. 271-474.
77. Tertullian, “An Answer to the Jews,” ANF, Vol. 3: 163. Cf. Irenaeus, “Against Heresies,” ANF, Vol. 1: 451-452. Cf. Origen “Against Celsus,” ANF, Vol. 4:415. See also Lactantius “Divine Institutes,” ANF, Vol. 7: 116-119, quoting Psalms, Isaiah, and Wisdom.
78. Margaret Barker, The Great High Priest, The Temple Roots of Christian Liturgy, p. 9.
79. “The First Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians,” in ANF, Vol. 1: 8 and note 6. Cf. the same in ANF, Vol. 1:9 – “Let us be imitators also of those who in goatskins and sheep-skins went about proclaiming the coming of Christ; I mean Elijah, Elisha, and Ezekiel among the prophets…” Did they have scripture we no longer possess?
80. “Epistle of Ignatius to the Magnesians,” in ANF, 1:62.
81. Bart Ehrman, The Apostolic Fathers, 2 Vols., Loeb Classical Library, Harvard University Press, 2003, 1: 249.
82. C. H. Dodd, The Authority of the Bible, Harper Torchbooks, 1958: 196. Gordon D. Fee notes the care one must use when looking into the Church Fathers use of scripture since they may not have had a single Bible everyone used. There was no standard Bible for them to cite. And if and when they moved from area to area, they ran into other manuscripts other groups were using that could differ from ones they used. “There were differing kinds of texts.” In “The Use of Greek Patristic Citations in New Testament Textual Criticism: The State of the Question,” in Eldon Jay Epp, Gordon D. Fee, editors, Studies in the Theory and Method of New Testament Textual Criticism, William B. Eerdmans, 1993: 345.
83. B. H. Streeter, The Four Gospels, A Study of Origins, Macmillan & Co., 1936: 219.
84. Barrie Wilson, How Jesus Became Christian, St. Martin’s Press, 2008: 152.
85. James D. G. Dunn, The New Perspective on Paul, revised edition, Wm B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2008: 326.
86. Spiros Zodhiates, The Complete Wordstudy Dictionary: New Testament, World Bible Publishers, 1992: 146.
87. W. E. Vine, An Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words, Royal Publishers, 1952: 211. Cf. Max Zerwick, Mary Grosvenor, A Grammatical Analysis of the Greek New Testament, Biblical Institute Press, 1981: 594, Philippians 1:24, “αναγκαιοτερος comparison of -χαιος, necessary, the more necessary of the two alternatives.”
88. Jack P. Lewis, “Jamnia Revisited,” in McDonald & Sanders, The Canon Debate, chapter 9 (pp. 146-162). See also Jack N. Lightstone, “The Rabbi’s Bible: The Canon of the Hebrew Bible and the Early Rabbinic Guild,” in The Canon Debate, chapter 19 (pp. 163-195.
89. Walter Bauer, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature, 2nd edition revised and augmented by W. F. Arndt, F. W. Gingrich, Frederick W. Danker, University of Chicago Press, 1979: 52a. Hereafter cited as BDAG.
90. Gerhard Kittel, Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, 10 vols., Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, reprint 1983: 1: 345. Hereafter cited as TDNT.
91. Colin Brown, editor, Theologisches Begriffslexikon zum Neuen Testament, translated by Lothar Coenen, Erich Beyreuther, and Hans Bietenhard, Zondervan Publishing House, The New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology, 4 vols., 1986: 2: 663.
92. TDNT, 1:345.
93. R. B. Onians, The Origins of European Thought about the Body, the Mind, the Soul, the World, Time, and Fate, Cambridge University Press, 1st paperback, 1988: 93-94. Hereafter cited as Origins of European Thought.
94. Onians, Origins of European Thought, pp. 119-120.
95. Onians, Origins of European Thought, p. 249.
96. Onians, Origins of European Thought, p. 250.
97. Carl Schmidt, Koptisch-Gnostische Schriften, Die Pistis Sophia Die Beiden Bucher Des Jeu Unbekanntes Altgnostisches Werk, Akademie – Verlag, Berlin, 1962: 207 at 319.
98. Walter Beltz, Gott und die Gotter, Biblische Mythologie, Aufbau – Verlag Berlin und Weimar, 1975: 297. And of course, Michael defeats the great dragon or old serpent (alte Schlange) as he is called in the Christian tradition (the Book of Revelation) after the seventh trumpet sounds, which brings in the reign of the eternal (ewige) Kingdom of Christ, as he notes on p. 336 – “Mit der erschallen der siebenten Posaune wurde dan das ewige, allumfassende Reich Christi ausgerufen. Michael und seine Engel besiegten auch den Satans oder den Teufel - wie der grose Drache, die alte Schlange, genannt wird - und warfen ihn aus dem Himmel auf die Erde.”
99. Cf. Henry George Liddell and Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, Oxford at the Clarendon Press, Supplement 1968, reprint, 1983, φανης a divinity in the Orphic system, representing the first principle of life, φανητα… προτος γαρ εφανθη. See also φανερ-οω to make manifest, to reveal. (p. 1915). Hereafter cited as Liddell-Scott.
100. Walter Wili, “The Orphic Mysteries and the Greek Spirit,” in Joseph Campbell, editor, The Mysteries, Bollingen Series, Princeton University Press, 5th printing, 1990: 71. Cf. Paul Schmidt, “The Ancient Mysteries in the Society of Their Time, Their Transformation and Most Recent Echoes,” in Campbell, ed., The Mysteries, p. 105 – “The trend to universality in pre-Christian religion was first and most significantly represented by the Orphics.”
101. Hans Leisegang, “The Mystery of the Serpent,” in Joseph Campbell, editor, The Mysteries, p. 200. See Liddell-Scott, p. 431, διν˗ευμα- “whirling round, and various other stems and affixes, such as παντοσε δινεισθην – whirl, roll around, also others have circular motion or rotation, whirl around the κοσμου. Cf. Onians, Origins of European Thought, p. 443-444.
102. R. B. Onians, Origins of European Thought, pp. 250-251.
103. Leisegang, “the Mystery of the Serpent,” p. 228.
104. As found in Hugh Nibley, Apostles and Bishops in Early Christianity, Deseret Books/FARMS, 2005: 54-55.
105. Leisegang, “The Mystery of the Serpent,” p. 228-229.
106. A. T. Murray, Homer, Iliad, Books 1-12, Loeb Classical Library, Harvard University Press, 1999: p. 418-419.
107. Onians, Origins of European Thought, p. 331.
108. Robert B. Strassler, The Landmark Herodotus, The Histories, Anchor Books, 2007: 194. Cf. Aubrey de Selincourt, Herodotus, The Histories, Penguin Books, 1983: 194 – “He was not, however, to escape misfortune in the end.” See also G. C. Macauley, The Histories, Herodotus, Barnes & Noble Classics, 2004: 134 – “Since, however he had to meet a bad end.”
109. Onians, Origins of European Thought, p. 332.
110. Onians, Origins of European Thought, p. 316-317. Rather than quoting everything, I am summarizing an enormous amount of scholarship of Onians, which makes it easier to read. This gets rid of a lot of quotation marks also.
111. Onians, Origins of European Thought, p. 332-333.
112. Onians, Origins of European Thought, p. 333, note 9. On the idea of binding connected to kinship, Walde translates necessarius ‘eng verwandt verbunden’ which compares with “connection” of Liddell and Scott’s translation of αναγκαιος, “connected by necessary or natural ties.”
The same energy that emerges from the fountain of eternity into time, is the Holy Grail at the center of the universe of the inexhaustible vitality in each of our hearts. The Holy Grail, like the Kingdom of God, is within. -Joseph Campbell-

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