Saturday, February 23, 2013

Heracleon and Ptolemaeus Viewed the Baptism as a 'Resurrection of the Dead'

They from Italy, of whom is Heracleon and Ptolemaeus, say that the body of Jesus was animal (one). And on account of this, (they maintain) that at his baptism the Holy Spirit as a dove came down--that is, the Logos of the mother above, (I mean Sophia)--and became (a voice) to the animal (man), and raised him from the dead. This, he says, is what has been declared: "He who raised Christ from the dead will also quicken your mortal and natural bodies." [Philosophumena 6.30]

It is hard to understand how Heracleona and Ptolemaeus could have had our existing gospel narrative in mind.  How could Jesus have been dead there?  There must have been another baptism narrative associated with the raising of the dead which the author of the Philosophumena or Irenaeus has confusedly fused together with the dove narrative.

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