Friday, May 28, 2010

Were the So-Called 'Audians' Marcionite?

I am working out the possible Aramaic origins of the name 'Audiani' (I suspect it isn't the name of a person at all but derived from the Syriac root meaning 'to confess') yet for the moment I would like to bring forward Theodoret's report on the sect:

The illustrious emperor thus took heed of the apostolic decrees, but Audaeus, a Syrian alike in race and in speech, appeared at that time as an inventor of new decrees. He had long ago begun to incubate iniquities and now appeared in his true character. At first he understood in an absurd sense the passage "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness." From want of apprehension of the meaning of the divine Scripture he understood the Divine Being to have a human form, and conjectured it to be enveloped in bodily parts; for Holy Scripture frequently describes the divine operations under the names of human parts, since by these means the providence of God is made more easily intelligible to minds incapable of perceiving any immaterial ideas. To this impiety Audaeus added others of a similar kind. By an eclectic process he adopted some of the Manichean doctrines of Manes and denied that the God of the universe is creator of either fire or darkness. But these and all similar errors are concealed by the adherents of his faction.

They allege that they are separated from the assemblies of the Church. But since some of them exact a cursed usury, and some live unlawfully with women without the bond of wedlock, while those who are innocent of these practices live in free fellowship with the guilty, they hide the blasphemy of their doctrines by accounting as they do for their living by themselves. The plea is however an impudent one, and the natural result of Pharisaic teaching, for the Pharisees accused the Physician of souls and bodies in their question to the holy Apostles "How is it that your Master eateth with publicans and sinners?" and through the prophet, God of such men says "Which say, 'come not near me for I am pure' this is smoke of my wrath." But this is not a tithe to refute their unreasonable error. I therefore pass on to the remainder of my narrative.
[Theodoret Church History Book IV Chapter IX]

What is so interesting about this passage is the variation of BOTH New and Old Testament citations from the sect. Compare the following:

How is it that your Master eateth with publicans and sinners?

with the received text of Mark:

How is it that he eateth and drinketh with publicans and sinners? [Mark ii.16]

and the citation of Isaiah:

οἱ λέγοντες καθαρός εἰμι, μή μου ἅπτου οὗτος καπνὸς τοῦ θυμοῦ μου.

and the Septuagint passage reads

οἱ λεγοντες ποῤ& 191·ω ἀπ᾽ ἐμου, μὴ ἐγγίσῃς μοι ὅτι καθαρός εἰμι, etc

There is definitely something interesting here. More research is needed tho ..

”700700 Mark ii. 16. Observe verbal inaccuracy of quotation. and through the prophet, God of such men says “Which say, ‘come not near me for I am pure’ this is smoke of my wrath.”

Email with comments or questions.

Stephan Huller's Observations by Stephan Huller
is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License.