Saturday, March 16, 2013

Finally Cracking the Secret Mark Code - What the Scene of Jesus and the Youth Actually Means

From Irenaeus's Against Heresies Book One where he says that 'those of Mark' argue that:

for this reason did Moses declare that man was formed on the sixth day; and then, again, according to arrangement, it was on the sixth day, which is the preparation (= paraskeue cf. Mark 15:42), that the last man appeared, for the regeneration (= ἀναγέννησιν) of the first, of this arrangement, both the beginning and the end were formed at that sixth hour, at which He was nailed to the tree [Irenaeus 15:42] 

Are we supposed to believe that Morton Smith knew enough to make Jesus initiate the dead youth 'after six days'?  But notice also that "regeneration  is Clement's favorite imagery for baptism, and his preferred term is ἀναγέννησιν. Clement exhorts pagans 'to become little children and be regenerated' (Prot. 9.84.2)." [Gregory Beeley Re-Reading Gregory of Nazianzus p. 75]

Thus Clement says God made human beings from dirt but gives them regeneration in water, growth in spirit, and education in word. (Instructor  Similarly Clement has the Savior say, “I gave regeneration (ἀνεγέννησα) to you who were generated (γεγεννημένον) by the world to death. (Who is the Rich Man 23.2)  He interprets Matthew 18:3 (“Unless you are converted and become as little children”) to refer to the Jesus's desire for us to be as pure in body and holy in soul as he generated (γεγέννηκεν) us “from water, our mother.”  He further connects the Spirit with the water because baptism cleanses soul and body: “Regeneration (ἀναγέννησις) is of water and Spirit [John 3:5], as was all generation (γένεσις — creation, or origination),” with a citation of Genesis 1:2. He continues, “Baptism occurs through 'water and Spirit,'”and interpreting the waters above the heaven in Genesis 1:7 as allegorically the Holy Spirit, he affirms that earthly water cleanses the body but the heavenly water (the purifying Spirit) cleanses the human spirit. In this context Clement can speak of baptism as the sign (σημεῖον) apparently in a realistic sense of regeneration (ἀναγεννήσεως). Clement emphasizes the divine life, immortality,that results from regeneration. This regeneration has moral consequences: “We who have put off the old person, removed the old garment of evil, and put on the incorruption of Christ in order that we may become a new, holy people, having been regenerated, we keep the new person undefiled and are innocent as a baby of God, having been cleansed from fornication and wickedness."

Clearly the reference the number six in Secret Mark is a clue to make us understand that the dead youth is about to undergo just such a 'regeneration.'  But more importantly we finally understand the context of the coming together of the youth and Jesus.  The youth is the 'last man' (= the old man) and Jesus the 'first man' (= the new man).  In other words - and this is critical for the docetic understanding of the crucifixion - Jesus has already taken another form.  

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