Monday, July 7, 2014

The 'Super-Celestial' Textual Variant in 1 Corinthians 15:48 - 49

In my previous posts I noted that the Marcionite recension of 1 Corinthians 15:48 - 49 was known to Celsus.  The emphasis was clearly on taking on the 'super-celestial' rather than mere 'heavenly' image as our surviving Catholic texts render.  This was a reflection of the Marcionite - and ultimately mystical Jewish - understanding of a 'heaven of heavens,' that is a third heaven above the two heavens of this world.  It is worth noting that I discovered the same reading in Jerome's writings.  First the Commentary on Isaiah:
Dissipabitur ergo terra, et omnia terrena opera redigentur ad nihilum, ut abolita imagine χοἳκοῦ, permaneat imago supercoelestis. Primus enim homo de terra terrenus, et secundus de coelo coelestis: qualis terrenus, tales et terreni; et qualis supercoelestis, tales et supercoelestes: ut sicut portavimus imaginem terreni, portemus et imaginem supercoelestis [I Cor. XV, 47-49]. Unde idem Apostolus loquitur: Caro et sanguis regnum Dei non possidebunt [Ibid., 50]. Non quod secundum haereticos dispereat natura corporum, sed quod corruptivum hoc induat incorruptionem, et mortale hoc induat immortalitatem.

And then his Commentary on Matthew:

Si quis igitur in tempore judicii inventus fuerit sub nomine Christiano non habere vestem nuptialem, hoc est, vestem supercoelestis [Al. coelestis] hominis;  sed vestem pollutam, id est, veteris hominis exuvias, hic statim corripitur, et dicitur ei: Amice, quomodo huc intrasti?

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