Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Jesus as the Angel Eeshu from the Pentateuch Narrative in Clement of Alexandria

Further, the Lord shows very clearly of Himself, when, describing figuratively His manifold and in many ways serviceable culture,--He says, "I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman." Then He adds, "Every branch in me that beareth not fruit He taketh away; and every branch that beareth fruit He pruneth, that it may bring forth more fruit." For the vine that is not pruned grows to wood. So also man. The Word--the knife--clears away the wanton shoots; compelling the impulses of the soul to fructify, not to indulge in lust. Now, reproof addressed to sinners has their salvation for its aim, the word being harmoniously adjusted to each one's conduct; now with tightened, now. with relaxed cords. Accordingly it was very plainly said by Moses," Be of good courage: God has drawn near to try you, that His fear may be among you, that ye sin not."

Καὶ δὴ αὐτὸς περὶ αὑτοῦ σαφέστατα ὁ κύριος ἐκφαίνει, τὴν πολύτροπον καὶ πολυωφελῆ θεραπείαν ἀλληγορῶν, ὁπηνίκα εἰπὼν ἐγώ εἰμι ἡ ἄμπελος ἡ ἀληθινή, καὶ ὁ πατήρ μου ὁ γεωργός ἐστιν, εἶτα ἐπήγαγεν πάλιν πᾶν κλῆμα ἐν ἐμοὶ μὴ φέρον καρπὸν αἴρει αὐτό, καὶ πᾶν τὸ καρποφοροῦν καθαίρει, ἵνα καρπὸν πλείω φέρῃ. Καθυλομανεῖ γὰρ μὴ κλαδευομένη ἡ ἄμπελος, οὕτως δὲ καὶ ὁ ἄνθρωπος· καθαίρει δὲ αὐτοῦ τὰς ἐξυβριζούσας παραφυάδας ὁ λόγος ἡ μάχαιρα, καρποφορεῖν, οὐκ ἐπιθυμεῖν τὰς ὀρέξεις ἀναγκάσας. Ἡ δὲ πρὸς τοὺς ἁμαρτάνοντας ἐπίπληξις ἔχει σκοπὸν τὴν σωτηρίαν, μεθαρμοζομένου μουσικῶς τοῦ λόγου κατὰ τοὺς οἰκείους ἑκάστων τρόπους, πῇ μὲν ἐπιτείνοντος αὐτοῦ, πῇ δὲ ἀνιέντος. Σαφέστατα γοῦν διὰ Μωσέως λέλεκται· θαρρεῖτε, ἕνεκεν τοῦ πειράσαι ὑμᾶς παρεγενήθη ὁ θεός, ὅπως ἂν γένηται ὁ φόβος αὐτοῦ ἐν ὑμῖν, ἵνα μὴ ἁμαρτάνητε. [Clement Paedagogue -]

You have, in brief, the professed aim of our philosophy; and the learning of these branches, when pursued with right course of conduct, leads through Wisdom, the artificer of all things, to the Ruler of all, -- a Being difficult to grasp and apprehend, ever receding and withdrawing from him who pursues. But He who is far off has -- oh ineffable marvel! -- come very near. "I am a God: that draws near," says the Lord. He is in essence remote; "for how is it that what is begotten can have approached the Unbegotten?" But He is very near in virtue of that power which holds all things in its embrace. "Shall one do aught in secret, and I see him not?" For the power of God is always present, in contact with us, in the exercise of inspection, of beneficence, of instruction. Whence Moses, persuaded that God is not to be known by human wisdom, said, "Show me Thy glory;" and into the thick darkness where God's voice was, pressed to enter -- that is, into the inaccessible and invisible ideas respecting Existence.

ἔχεις ἐν βραχεῖ τὸ ἐπάγγελμα τῆς καθ' ἡμᾶς φιλοσοφίας. ἀνάγει δὲ ἡ τούτων μάθησις, μετὰ ὀρθῆς πολιτείας ἀσκηθεῖσα, διὰ τῆς πάντων τεχνίτιδος σοφίας ἐπὶ τὸν ἡγεμόνα τοῦ παντός, δυσάλωτόν τι χρῆμα καὶ δυσθήρατον, ἐξαναχωροῦν ἀεὶ καὶ πόρρω ἀφιστάμενον τοῦ διώκοντος. ὁ δὲ αὐτὸς μακρὰν ὢν ἐγγυτάτω βέβηκεν, θαῦμα ἄρρητον· θεὸς ἐγγίζων ἐγώ, φησὶ κύριος· πόρρω μὲν κατ' οὐσίαν (πῶς γὰρ ἂν συνεγγίσαι ποτὲ τὸ γεννητὸν ἀγεννήτῳ;), ἐγγυτάτω δὲ δυνάμει, ᾗ τὰ πάντα ἐγκεκόλπισται. εἰ ποιήσει τις κρύφα, φησί, τι, καὶ οὐκ ἐπόψομαι αὐτόν; καὶ δὴ πάρεστιν ἀεὶ τῇ τε ἐποπτικῇ τῇ τε εὐεργετικῇ τῇ τε παιδευτικῇ ἁπτομένη ἡμῶν δυνάμει δύναμις τοῦ θεοῦ.  ὅθεν ὁ Μωσῆς οὔποτε ἀνθρωπίνῃ σοφίᾳ γνωσθήσεσθαι τὸν θεὸν πεπεισμένος, ἐμφάνισόν μοι σεαυτὸν φησὶ καὶ εἰς τὸν γνόφον, οὗ ἦν ἡ φωνὴ τοῦ θεοῦ, εἰσελθεῖν βιάζεται, τουτέστιν εἰς τὰς ἀδύτους καὶ ἀειδεῖς περὶ τοῦ ὄντος ἐννοίας· [ibid Stromata -]

Reason, the governing principle, remaining unmoved and guiding the soul, is called its pilot. For access to the Immutable is obtained by a truly immutable means. Thus Abraham was stationed before the Lord, and approaching spoke. And to Moses it is said, "But do thou stand there with Me." And the followers of Simon wish be assimilated in manners to the standing form which they adore. Faith, therefore, and the knowledge of the truth, render the soul, which makes them its choice, always uniform and equable. For congenial to the man of falsehood is shifting, and change, and turning away, as to the Gnostic are calmness, and rest, and peace.

ὁ λογισμὸς καὶ τὸ ἡγεμονικὸν ἄπταιστον μένον καὶ καθηγούμενον τῆς ψυχῆς κυβερνήτης αὐτῆς εἴρηται· ὄντως γὰρ ἀτρέπτῳ πρὸς τὸ ἄτρεπτον ἡ προσαγωγή. οὕτως Ἀβραὰμ ἑστὼς ἦν ἀπέναντι κυρίου καὶ ἐγγίσας εἶπεν· καὶ τῷ Μωυσεῖ λέγεταισὺ δὲ αὐτοῦ στῆθι μετ' ἐμοῦ. οἱ δὲ ἀμφὶ τὸν Σίμωνα τῷ Ἑστῶτι, ὃν σέβουσιν, ἐξομοιοῦσθαι τὸν τρόπον βούλονται. ἡ πίστις οὖν ἥ τε γνῶσις τῆς ἀληθείας αἰεὶ κατὰ τὰ αὐτὰ καὶ ὡσαύτως ἔχειν κατα σκευάζουσι τὴν ἑλομένην αὐτὰς ψυχήν. συγγενὲς δὲ τῷ ψεύδει μετάβασις ἐκτροπὴ καὶ ἀπόστασις, ὥσπερ τῷ γνωστικῷ ἠρεμία καὶ ἀνάπαυσις καὶ εἰρήνη [ibid - 5]

"For both is it a difficult task to discover the Father and Maker of this universe; and having found Him, it is impossible to declare Him to all. For this is by no means capable of expression, like the other subjects of instruction," says the truth-loving Plato. For he that had heard right well that the all-wise Moses, ascending the mount for holy contemplation, to the summit of intellectual objects, necessarily commands that the whole people do not accompany him. And when the Scripture says, "Moses entered into the thick darkness where God was," this shows to those capable of understanding, that God is invisible and beyond expression by words, And "the darkness " -- which is, in truth, the unbelief and ignorance of the multitude -- obstructs the gleam of truth.

Τὸν γὰρ πατέρα καὶ ποιητὴν τοῦδε τοῦ παντὸς εὑρεῖν τε ἔργον καὶ εὑρόντα εἰς πάντας ἐξειπεῖν ἀδύνατον. ῥητὸν γὰρ οὐδαμῶς ἐστιν ὡς τἄλλα μαθήματα, ὁ φιλαλήθης λέγει Πλάτων. ἀκήκοεν γὰρ εὖ μάλα ὡς ὁ πάνσοφος Μωυσῆς εἰς τὸ ὄρος ἀνιὼν (διὰ τὴν ἁγίαν θεωρίαν ἐπὶ τὴν κορυφὴν τῶν νοητῶν) ἀναγκαίως διαστέλλεται μὴ τὸν πάντα λαὸν συναναβαίνειν ἑαυτῷ· καὶ ὅταν λέγῃ ἡ γραφὴ εἰσῆλθεν δὲ Μωυσῆς εἰς τὸν γνόφον οὗ ἦν ὁ θεός, τοῦτο δηλοῖ τοῖς συνιέναι δυναμένοις, ὡς ὁ θεὸς ἀόρατός ἐστι καὶ ἄρρητος, γνόφος δὲ ὡς ἀληθῶς ἡ τῶν πολλῶν ἀπιστία τε καὶ ἄγνοια τῇ αὐγῇ τῆς ἀληθείας ἐπίπροσθε φέρεται. [ibid - 4]

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