June 9th, 1983, Serial No. 00404

Audio loading...

Welcome! You can log in or create an account to save favorites, edit keywords, transcripts, and more.


AI Suggested Keywords:


Monastic Theology Series Set 1 of 3

AI Summary: 





So, we want to keep going through these texts of Irenaeus, and we've arrived at Book 3. And instead of taking things sort of thematically from one topic to another, we'll go through the texts and treat the subjects as they come up. We'll find that the texts are very rich, and so they do. The next one that we have, let me recall something from the last one, because there's a whole bunch of things I put together. In fact, we only skimmed through that text number 5, which is Chapter 11 of Book 3, Numbers 7 to 9. Remember the one with the four vespers. Let's look at that a little further. It's page 428, 428 and 429. Those are two sheets that I gave to you afterwards, they weren't in your first batch. I have a fondness for squares, and so I'd like to go through those.


There's a kind of quaternity that appears in Irenaeus there. It's already in the Gnostics in some way, and it's good to have it in the back of your mind, and then we'll see what he makes of it as he goes through. If you look at the Gnostic scheme, quaternity means, of course, something with four corners, four poles, inches squared. If you look at the Gnostic scheme, you remember in the Pleroma, the first thing that you find is sort of four levels. There's God, and then he generates three other things, and then each of these is paired, so that you have God, or the bythos, the depths, the profundity, and then you have silence or grace, which is the feminine equivalent. And so you have four pairs of terms, which would look something like this. Or a line, or a logo, and you have the hand, whatever these connections mean,


that's where we get it set up. And then on the other side, on the feminine side, you've got grace, or silence, and then you've got truth, life, and then truth. Remember, these are still in the Pleroma, so they're still way up there, and they're not the church nor man that we know on this earth, because this is a fantasy scheme. So that's already in the Gnostic scheme. See, a lot of things that we become aware of in Theranaeus, we discover afterwards that they were in the Gnostic scheme too, that they were in the Valentinian scheme, and therefore there's a kind of relationship or a point of reference which we've missed, and we go back and it doesn't help. Are these supposed to be living beings, or are they just abstract? Well, they're abstract because they're living too.


They're worlds, and in some way living beings, because obviously God, the topmost one, is a living being, and then everything else is generated from them, so they're like a kind of synthesis of an abstraction, because some of our abstractions, like truth, logos, and things, they can be abstractions as well, but they're more than that, they're a philosophical abstraction, and a world, and a living being, and that they're living beings is verified by the fact that they're generated, that they tear themselves up, and then they generate further, the propagation. Okay, so I'm not asking you to pay great attention to this, but just to note that the Quaternary scheme is already in the Gnostic scheme, and that it's been taught in 400 other Quaternary schemes, but the first two groups are Quaternary. Then, we see in this present text that Theronius is paying great attention to the fact that


there are four Gospels, one more and one less, and he says there have to be four Gospels, and even aside from the historical evidence that there are four Gospels, he says there have to, because there are four corners to the earth, and four zones, and four dimensions of what you want. We see it very arbitrary to listen, but whether it comes out of some kind of a canon or not, I think it's worth paying attention to. Now, I made this scheme last time, but this forecast will be necessary. The Matthew, Luke, and Mark are reasons which will come up later on, even though that doesn't mean that Theronius sets it up. Theronius has this order, John, Luke, Matthew, Mark, and we're going to find that this turns up in different sequences in this chapter that he points out. The text is this one in book three, chapter 11, number 79, the one about the four Gospels.


Is that right? It's on page 428, Theronius. The way he does it is this way, according to this scheme. We meet first John, then Luke, then Matthew, then Mark, so he's going to be here, and he talks about them all the time. We'll see what he does with that after. And remember then, he says there are four heresies, he suggests that there are four heresies, not all of which we might call Gnosticism, which go off in these four directions. So he suggests there are four possible directions of distortion of the Gospels. Remember he put the Hebbian Acts over here, the kind of Old Testament dialogue you guys can take up. And he put the Martian Acts over here, who are not the ones from Mars, but the followers


of Mars, who reject the Old Testament. And the Valentinians, he says, are the ones who specialize in the Gospel of John. They take up and adapt the Gospel of John and take something from it. And the ones down here, he didn't specify by name, but he says that those who split Christ, remember we separated Christ from Jesus, and the Jesus who suffers and who is born as a man, from this supernal Christ who comes down at a certain point through baptism, and then goes back up again before he even dies, which is a typical Gnostic thing. So that the real Christ, the real one, illuminates you, but he doesn't let you do his stuff. That's why it's a psychological bypass. So whatever we call him, he's whether the followers of Cerentius or whatever, or the full Christ or whatever, it's a little mysterious. However, we have to ask ourselves where Irenaeus is, because it seems that in fighting Gnostics


particularly, Irenaeus has to pull on a certain side, so he has to take a certain option. And remember that he is trusting in the apostolic succession, and that he finds that apostolic succession clarified by his personal testifiers, especially by Churchill, by his obsession with Peter. So I think that Irenaeus is stronger on the Victorian side, which means that, and remember his insistence on the incarnation, his insistence on that man is matter, man is body, man is earth, and all of that. So I think we'll find that he puts a lot of weight on this side, sometimes with his sense of simile dimension, but possibly another dimension, but somewhat in fighting something, there's a whole argument on the other side. But when he's speaking just from inside him, it seems totally, totally inebriated, totally unbreathing today, that he may have to say one thing more often than another, he may have to insist on the incarnate character of Christianity, so there's something else from the occasional definition.


Or he may have to fight one point of the Gnostics so strongly that he can't really talk about something that's very close to it, but he's orthodox, okay? Suppose there are truths within, valid truths within Christianity, that are so close to Gnostic principles, that to mention them, or to make very much of them, would be dangerous in the sense that people would misinterpret them and easily spy on them instead. And the question comes up, what happens to Sophia? And no one knows. She disappears. But what happens to Sophia? Sophia turns out to be the Blessed Virgin Mary, I think, in Mary Mags. Now, I say that too simply to prove it, but the feminine principle, which is so important in Gnosticism, is simply ignored or made fun of by the Gnomeus, and then the feminine principle of the Blessed Virgin, the Mother of the Lovers of the Word, turns out to be central in that. She's called the Father of Mary Mags, but it's in a completely down-to-earth way. She's the New Earth.


She's the New Earth, and she's the Virgin Mother of Christ, who by her obedience, remedies the disobedience, the sin, the death dealings, and the bleeding. So it's a completely, what do you call it, balanced, completely different form of Gnosticism than Sophia, but we didn't get a very good answer. Because it's a central question, what happens to Sophia after the second century? Okay, remember the four living creatures, the lion, the ox, the man, and the eagle, both in Ezekiel and in the Book of Revelation. Remember in Ezekiel, each one has four faces, and it looks something like this. If this is the left shoulder here, and if you're looking at it from behind, then you have the ox or the calf over here, and here you have the lion.


And then there's the man, the face of the man, and the face of the eagle. And every now and then, in the Septuagint, you have the face of the man is in front and the face of the eagle is in back, but that's not in the New World, according to the Book of Revelation, it's only in the New World, but you presume that if you think of the man and the eagle, it seems likely that you believe what you believe. Now, what I'm getting to really, for one thing, is a kind of basic fraternity of Irenaeus. We're going to come to it later on, let me point out the connection now and then we can come back to it. Irenaeus sees God as forming a human person, and as forming his creation, from the first creation of God, with his two hands, his two hands which are the earth and the spirit. So here's God, here's, as it were, the earth for the creation as such, with its physical


form, for man. The hands are over here. The number of two hands of man are the word and the spirit, logos and human. So this is two hands of God, excuse me. And the man is made of the image of God. And we're going to find even that this image is somehow reproduced with our own mind. So there's a quaternary in RNAs, which is this or that one, right? Again and again and again and again. And what's the difference? There's a kind of geometry, in fact. Now, in this text that we've been looking at, RNAs talks about a few other series of four,


which he connects with these four living creatures. Now, sometimes I was going to bring one of those gospel pages along, one of those front pages of gospels which had the four living creatures, but I forgot to get it. There's one in a young book, though. Excuse me. Is it that? You're telling me that you can have them down in different positions? Yes, usually. I've been rather free with that. I don't remember how they do it usually. I don't think those... Those hands. Now, for him, the cat was very nice. The cat is Luke. And Mark is the eagle. Which is the dragon. John has usually thought of it as the eagle. Almost always. You're going to find a fluidity in this. If you compare to RNAs, you'll know the right is the eagle.


In order to then... It's archetypal, and you'll notice that the four-fold figure, the square or the quaternity, whatever you want, is more stable than the names that you put on the corners. Those will fluctuate. You'll find the different gospels being put in different places. As I say, I've been free with this because I've been thinking about this for a long time. It kind of comes out that way. It's not straight from RNA. It's where I put the four. You'll find that those fluctuate, but that the quaternity is stable. Now, we'll see some other uses that RNAs make. Even though he doesn't give us a geometrical figure, he just gives us a sequence of 1, 2, 3 and 4 as we go on in this text. This is in number 8 as we go on.


It's a very full number. On page 428. At the bottom of the right-hand... Well, let's take that right-hand column. First of all, he talks about the four living creatures and the four gospels. John is the lion with his royal character that he gives to Christ. Especially in the beginning of the gospel, in the beginning was the word, and the word was with God. So it's like the bond character. These things you have to take care of. They're a good deal of imaginative things sometimes. They don't take much value. There's a fluctuation. The curious thing is the relation between the fluctuation and the stability. Between what's fixed and what's a deep conviction here. And then the way that the particular terms float around. That's a disconcerting thing that you find very often in the Proverbs. They seem to be saying something in a mixed-up way, as Scripture does sometimes, with all these variations. And at the bottom of it, inside of it, is a kind of rock-like solidity of conviction which doesn't quite get into the words


and is not quite verbalized somehow. It is something simpler. And so it is with the square reasons. And the calf is the sacrificial sacerdotal order. It's almost, you find this king, priest, and prophet thing here. King, priest, prophet, and man, actually, underneath the four figures. The third, the face of a man, is Advent as a human being, with no further specification. The fourth, a flying eagle pointing out the gift of the Spirit hovering with his wings over the church. And afterwards, he connects that with, calls that the prophetical Spirit. Then he goes down. For that, according... He elaborates then, he's not just briefly. According to John, relates his original effect to a glorious generation from the Father. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was God, and the Word was God. Now, you'd expect that to be the eagle, but it's not. It's the lion. With most, I think, with most other Christian writers, I've seen John as the eagle, and for that very reason. Because Jesus is divine from the beginning of the gospel to the end.


Luke, his priestly character. Zechariah is the priest offering sacrifice to God. Neither priestly or sacrificial. Now, very often, they'll put Mark in that spot. Matthew, his generation as a man. The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. And then there's a kind of humanity about the... Jesus up Matthew. Finally, Mark commences with a reference to the prophetical spirit coming down from on high. It's the eagle. Now, he's got a number of other four-fold sequences here. The next one is the way that the Word related to people in Old Testament history. The Word of God himself used to converse with the anti-Mosaic patriarch. The patriarch before Moses. He says a lot of things in the passing that you want to take notice of. One of them is that the Word, the Word who is Christ when he's incarnate,


was the one who spoke, was the God who spoke to the patriarchs, and to prophets and so on in the Old Testament. The Word was known in the Old Testament. Irenaeus keeps repeating this. And obviously, he's got a reason to repeat it, doesn't he? Because he's fighting people who would say, no, the Word only comes, as it were, to negate the Old Testament. He says, no, the Word has been speaking through our history. In fact, it was even the Word who appeared to the holy men of the Old Testament. Okay, first with the patriarchs before Moses. Then, for those under the law, he instituted a satirical and liturgical service. Now, this is very, what would you call it, it's not all that solid, I think. This particular, this is an imaginative, kind of, you know, poetic or free render. And as he does this, he does three of them in a row, with these different arrangements. First, see the divinity and the glory of the lion. Then, the sacerdotal service of the Lord, which is pretty convincing under Moses. Then, the incarnation, and finally, the giving of the spirit.


And there, this particular one, it does take place, it does become pretty convincing. See, I think this explains, looking backwards, this may explain why he's made the attribution to the living of the living creatures to those particular gospels. Because it all fits together in that way. Ending up with the gift of the spirit, you see, with the prophetic spirit. Hence, the ego at the end, rather than at the beginning of time. Starting, as it were, with the logos, and ending with the spirit. Such then was the course followed by the Son of God in the form of the living creatures. And such as was the form of the living creatures, so also the character of the gospel. Now, how those living creatures would be interpreted in Jewish tradition, that's something else. We have to consult the Kabbalah, and so on. There's a rich tradition of the interpretation of Ezekiel, of chariot path. For the living creatures are quadriform, and the gospel is quadriform, as is also the course followed by the Lord.


But it seems that sometimes, an erroneous point will divide sacred history into three parts, and I think once into five. For this reason, there were four principal covenants given to the human race. One, the covenant of Adam, which would have been simply, I suppose, built into the creation. If man is created in the image of God, there's already a covenant with Ezekiel, there's a relation with Ezekiel, with Israel. And there was a relation of friendship, which was unbroken. Friendship and grace were unbroken until sin took place. Second, after the devil is, and after sin, under Noah, the covenant of Abraham, that will not destroy the hand of the other. The third, the giving of the law under Moses, and that we usually think of as being the old covenant. And the fourth, that which renovates man and sums up all things in itself by means of the gospel, the new covenant. Remember, Jesus says, this is the cup of my blood, the new covenant,


the blood of a new covenant. And he deliberately made a reference to the old covenant, the sprinkling of the blood under Moses, the covenant of Simon. And now, those are usually the two we think of, the third and the fourth, as the old and new covenant. And Nehemiah says, put in two others, the one before the fall and the one with Noah after the fall. And he wants to establish that continuity right from the start. He wants to tie it all together. And notice how he uses his term of recapitulation under the last covenant. Now, that's going to be something you'll want to recall when you look at the next text this way. The fourth, that which renovates man, the human person, sums up, recapitulates all things in itself by means of the gospel, raising and bearing man upon its wings into the heavenly kingdom. So the image of the eagle appears at the end. And then it goes on to Lambastos who say that there are more gospels than a few gospels


in groups, the Martianites and the Martinists and the Valentinians. He talks about the Valentinians and their gospel of truth. That was one of the ones that was unearthed in the Nag Hammadi climate. Remember? We talked about that in trouble in last edition. We've seen that edition of Nag Hammadi. The gospel of truth would sound very much, very Johannine. Any questions or comments about that before we go on to the next text? I don't think we know much about that. The canon of the gospels, do you? When it was bestowed? I think the gospels, the first person to deal with what is going to be the text of this, didn't have any history at all. I would hope,


a fairly general position, that there were councils. But as far as the four gospels are concerned, Irenaeus already feels so certain. And that's in the second century. I don't think we know of a council when it was decided. It seems to have been common certainty very early about the gospels. Now, other books, other New Testament writings, like maybe the letters of Peter or John or Drew or something like that, or Old Testament books, were still very much embedded. Some of the Wisdom books, some of the Apocrypha, which may not have been in the original canon. I don't know. I don't know. Pagels were probably some wisdom. He's careful to attach the four gospels


to apostles. For instance, he says that Mark was the companion of Peter and that Luke was the friend of Paul. And so he wants to tie them right into the original revelation. Yes, that's right. And John's already there, I guess. John's already been among the apostles. But he doesn't say sort of when that gelled, at what point it was decided I think we have to give him, Mark, we've got to be gentler backwards to the past. There must have been some process of rejection of other pseudo-gospels in China. That's one of those apocryphal gospels.


There are a lot of apocryphal gospels which are called gospels but have not been accepted into the canon. They've never really been accepted. That's what we're asking. See, the first time that we recognize it is like in the fourth century No, it was differentiated earlier but we don't know exactly when it was done. In other words, there are things in the tradition of the Church which appear very certainly and very early at the same time. It's difficult to pin down the exact spot where they started. Well, the Gospel of Thomas is an apocryphal gospel. No, there are others. There are plenty of them. Gnostic or apocryphal gospels. Not all the apocryphal gospels are Gnostic, I think most of them are. A lot of them are connected


with Thomas or with Peter. That's a very strong bond. That's a close bond, you see, between the apostles in John, the apostle John, who were the disciples, Polycarp and Irenaeus. It's a very tight bond there. So you expect that Irenaeus had very early information. I think the other factor for Thomas coming to the future is as soon as people write about the origin and justice of the Gentiles, the relatives of the Gentiles, beginning to look at their own texts because that person used to carry out the mission. So most of the arguments against these books are incipient. Against the apocryphal religion,


as we call it, apocryphal religion. Yes, I know this. In fact, it's an enormous text. It must have been about 15. That's in the 3rd century. So it's not so they're wrong. Okay, our next text is page 442 in the following, and it's book 3, chapter 16, number 6. Now it's a bit unfortunate to have to take just one number in a whole long chapter. We can sort of miss the thread, but obviously we don't have time to go through all of it. It's fine if we can read the rest of it. Now the point here is that


some of the Gnostics are saying that actually there are two Christs. There's the one from above and then there's the one which is human. Page 442, book 3, chapter 16, number 6. And at the beginning of this number, it's in the right-hand column on 442, at the beginning of this number 6, he recounts a little bit the thesis of the Gnostics, which is helpful, so we don't have to go back. With their tongue, they confess one Jesus Christ because they want to be Christians. But they deny it with their doctrine because they allege that one being suffered and was born, and that this was Jesus, but there was another who descended upon him, and this was the Christ who also ascended again. And that he who proceeded from the demiurge, where he was dispensational,


that means that he came for the work, for the economy, he was functional, but not the real divine Christ. If there was a sort of working model of Christ, then there was the real divine Christ, the real Sunday Christ. Where he was born from Joseph was the being subject to suffering, so that would be, that would be Jesus. But upon the latter, there descended from the invisible and ineffable, the former, the Christ. Now, you can see why those people would prefer the Gospel of Mark, because if you begin the Gospel of Mark, there's what? The baptism of Jesus and the Holy Spirit that descends upon him. There isn't any inference in there to the Mark. That's what everyone else said before, they like Mark. So, you can say that at that point, the Christ descended upon Jesus. You see, and not before. He was only a man until then. Now, there's a reward, a yield that you get upon that, of course. Are they inclined that he came from the sea


with Joseph, so that Mary wasn't a virgin? Yes, that goes with it. Okay, we'll find later on that comes up more strongly, that the virgin birth and the divinity of Christ are one thing for their names. There's a logic there which everybody wouldn't accept on it. Okay, thus they wander from the truth because their doctrine departs from him who is truly God, being ignorant that his only begotten word... Now, the importance of the logos here, of the word, this is all the time, this is what ties everything together here on earth and makes it possible for this recapitulation to take place. Now, remember, when we talk about that recapitulation, don't let it just be an idea for you, but let it expand because it's the kind of idea, the kind of thought, which gradually expands to the four dimensions of the logos, to the four dimensions of the history of salvation. So let it be, and open. His only begotten word who is always present with the human race, always present with the human race. Remember Justin


and his logos. And, you know, the Platonists knew something about the logos. Every man who had reason, every human being with a mind knows in some way the logos. This is according to Justin. This is not what he really meant as he's saying, but it seems to me that he's opening the door to that, which is important for our full notion of the logos. United to and mingled with his own creation. Now that means the incarnation. Notice the intimacy of that. That the logos is, first of all, everything is created in him. Then he's always with what is created in him. You know how long it's taken for the doctrine of grace being inseparable from creation to come back into the church? It comes back to him now through people like Rana. For a long while people have been separating nature from grace to such an extent that poor nature is just abandoned, just orphaned. Everybody just waiting for somehow the Catholic to come and give him the truth or something like that. Where there's creation there's grace. Where there's nature, where God has worked,


he's worked through the Word and the Word is somehow there in some way. Because the logos is also the light. This is the light. United to and mingled with his own creation. So we can write back that recapitulation already there. It's always a kind of circular movement of bringing back in, kneading back into the dough what's already there. According to the Father's pleasure and who became flesh was himself Jesus Christ our Lord who does also suffer for us and those are going to be happy. He brings it all together in Christ and won't allow them to divide Christ. It's always somehow a movement of division this mental game that the Palestinians are doing. Rose again on her behalf will come again in the glory of the Father to raise up all flesh. He emphasizes that too. It's not just the justice that raised everybody but Jesus. There is therefore as I have pointed out one God and Father and one Christ Jesus who came by means of the whole dispensational arrangements. The dispensation


or economy means the whole plan of God. Yeah? In that sense the idea of the resolve of the human race and the magnitude of human creation I get the feeling that you're talking about the creation of the human race. Well, the human race is creation for him. Now, for him the human being somehow sums up all the creation in himself. Okay? His notion is that man was formed out of the earth okay, by God as it were. He takes up clay and breathes into it and makes it in his image but it remains earth. And so if the word is with the human person with man he's also with the creation. And if he's mingled into man he's mingled into the creation because man is mingled into the creation because he's got a physical body okay, it's that kind of thing. In what way he would be present also in other things in the creation we don't know outside of him aside from the mediation of the human person we don't know.


I don't know what it is but I'm sure it has to do with the creation. That's right. Some of the Greeks had that notion. Yeah. Well, even even before Christianity it was already it was already in the Greeks and the Greeks could have gotten it from India of course. You have to think about that now. I think when you when you see Saint Paul writing the Colossians that in him are all things. It becomes implicit that in Christ Christ man


is the whole world all right. So you have a different kind of man microcosm belief not so much in the creation of man as in the end something like that or in Christocentric it's certainly true in Saint Paul. I don't know if it's true outside of his Christ center. But it is. Well it's implicit in Saint Paul in this sense. When he says the whole creation is groaning until our bodies are redeemed that means man is a microcosm. That means what happens to man happens to the whole creation. And then salvation and the resurrection of the whole creation of the whole universe depends on the human person. That's what he said. So it's implicit in Saint Paul but he doesn't draw it out philosophically. The reason being he's so Christocentric OK? But he's interested in his Christ and not cosmology. So he's not going to bypass Christ to talk about that.


All of his cosmology passes through Christ. I heard. OK. I don't think you have a text there. I wonder if I've got another one. I'm sorry you said you would start in ten minutes. Aha. That's why you wanted a good slide about marriage. I'm afraid I didn't bring another one with me this time. Could you look on with somebody else? This is page 442. This is Irenaeus. I'm not sure when he says who is always present with the human race united to and mingled with his own creation I'm not sure exactly why that should be included. That's before the incarnation


because he talks about the incarnation in the next verse. So that may mean that wherever there is a human person there is the word. He may be saying that. It's very hard to think of mention of the word. Christ is the one who is walking down the path of the human race. That may turn up in Irenaeus. Yes. Well that word mingled always present with the human race. Okay, present united to and mingled with his own creation. Does it mean that the word is somehow woven into the human being? That could be. We'd have to look at it in the end. There are no footnotes


in the text. You have to go to another volume so that might not help. I won't take the time. Okay, as we continue. There is therefore as I have pointed out one God the Father and one Christ Jesus. This is where he gets into his Jesus. He winds into his great sort of doxology or his great crescendo. One Christ Jesus who came by means of the whole dispensational arrangements connected with him and gathered together all things in himself. That's recapitulated all things in himself. He loves this word. Whenever he can he comes back to it and he rolls up everything into that word recapitulate. And then he puts that in the Logos. He gathered, he came and recapitulated all things in himself. That's straight from Ephesians 1 time. And it's good to read that passage in St. Paul and put the whole context. But in every respect too he is man. The formation of God now that word formation in the Latin is plasmatio, plasmatio. And I think


it's about the same in Hebrew because the root that plasma root is already in Hebrew. That is very physical. It's a very physical term. It means like molding a piece of clay. Plasmatio. Wedging. Yeah, well after the wedging. Sometimes he wedges us too. He is man. The formation it's almost like he's saying he's the molding. The molding. That's where we get the word plastic from. Some mold of it. The molding of God. And thus he took up man into himself. Man gets taken up into the logos. And yet notice how it reverses. The invisible becoming visible that means that God gets taken up or taken down. Taken into man. The incomprehensible God being made comprehensible. The impassable becoming capable of suffering. Passable means capable of suffering. And the word being made man. The logos being made man. Thus summing up all things in himself.


The summing up there again is the word repititio. So that as in super-celestial spiritual and invisible things the things that the Valentinians love and exult in. The word of God is supreme so also in things visible and corporeal he might possess the supremacy. Notice the central position of the logos here. The word of God. That's what ties everything together. As well as constituting himself head of the church and there you hear an echo of Saint Paul. Ephesians and Colossians. He might draw all things to himself at the proper time. It's marvelous. And all of a sudden that rave from Saint John because it's in John that Jesus says that if I be lifted up from the earth I will draw all things to myself. Now probably the original is Panta on the earth. It means all things. It means all men. We're very nice. It also means all things. It is. The point is that


I'm going to get to know this one day. Because he says that God see that passage is very very that's what he likes to do is to condense everything. Roll it up into a ball shape. That's the recapitulation he's talking about. Very synthetic. Here it is. He's trying to be synthetic because what's he doing? He's showing the simplicity the compactness the solidity the kind of immensely powerful content of the simple beautiful truth of Christianity versus the kind of strung out and perfected fantasies the systems of masters. Now it's at the proper time and then he continues number seven with him is nothing incomplete or out of due season. Now he's getting into this time. Just as with the father there's nothing in Congress. Note the difference between the two. It's as if the father is in a way the artist standing behind and he can make no mistake. And everything is in his perfect vision is perfectly seen in the vision


of the father as it were. Before it happens. And that's before time. And then the word Jesus carries it out in time. Okay? So those two dimensions come out there. With him is nothing incomplete or out of due season just as with the father there is nothing incongruous. Incongruity you think of geometry you think of an artist's picture or something like that with something out of place. But when he talks about the word Christ it's a matter of it being out of time not out of place. For all these things were foreknown by the father he saw them as it were all at once in the glance of eternity in that single vision. But the son works them out at the proper time in perfect order and sequence. You see the son is the worker in the order or the servant of the father that he sent. There are so many parables in the gospel Now here he's got a mysterious thing that really points us on the way here. This was the reason why when Mary was urging him on to perform the wonderful miracle


of the Lamb this is at Cana I was reading somebody writing about Irenaeus who says that Mary is a little bit present just about everywhere in Irenaeus ready to surface. This kind of Sophianic dimension which he sees in the Virgin Mary is there whenever he talks about Christ and the Eucharist you see is implicit this other dimension and here it comes up. Now notice the relationship because something in the Gnostics and it points to a lot more. This is Cana the wedding feast of Cana when Mary says they have no wine as if she were urging him to do something before he was supposed to do it according to the father's plan. Now does that remind you of anyone else? Eve and the forbidden fruit but also something in the Gnostics right? Remember it's Sophia who wants to see the father. It's Sophia who gets everything in the truck and spills the beans as it were in the barn for the valentine because she has


to see the father as it were out of time. Her haste remember is checked but because of that the whole cycle of creation and the fall and redemption has to occur. So it's as if Irenaeus has this somehow in his mind when he talks about Mary in this way and was desirous before the time to partake of the cup of emblematic significance. Now that translation is not very helpful. Down below it says participare compendi focalum you see that footnote down there? It gives you the Latin participare compendi focalum what does it mean? The cup or the drink of recapitulation. So you see the connection with the Eucharist and then the connection with Irenaeus' central notion of recapitulation. It's as if the new covenant which recapitulates everything in itself is as if Mary


the woman somehow wanted to wanted to drink it wanted it to come wanted it to be granted before its time. Jesus doesn't do that but he does it later on so it's foreshadowing but that cup of recapitulation so we suddenly take a leap from the notion of recapitulation of everything in the Logos in the Word to the Eucharist to the Eucharist and according to some theologians the Eucharist is the as it were the physical sacrament or the sign of the recapitulation from our gathering all things into itself. And remember how the Eucharist extends through time from its institution the kind of trans-temporal moment of how it comes right down to the present moment and so on. Just remember that that phrase which is not very well rendered in the translation which is very important. So there's Mary the Eucharist and this recapitulation in some kind of mysterious relationship


another point that we had before that Jesus the Word Christ carries things out in their time after as it were the part of us has set them all up at the beginning. Isn't it important to have the meaning of this the Eucharist is the depiction of what meant thereof Yes. That's really what he says several times in the Eucharist and the Word because you are not interested at the same time in the Eucharist. ...education is educational process and therefore having to negate that and posit another one according to their own sort of educational theory. That will come up as we get to one of these following texts. Okay so he goes on talking about this time thing and they couldn't arrest Jesus because the hour of his being taken was not yet done. Paul says but when the fullness


of time came God sent forth his Son. He is himself the Savior of those who are saved at the end of number 7. The Lord of those who are under authority the God of all those things that take them form. The only begotten of the Father Christ who was announced in the Word of God who became incarnate when the fullness of time had come at which the Son of God had to become the Son of Man. It's another one of his crescendos. The Son of God had to become the Son of Man. You know the exegetes that write volumes on the meaning of that term the Son of Man are violent disputing a little more or less a little on this side a little on that side the term vision and race in the second century saying that the title of the Son of Man means that Jesus was born of the human race that the Word of God was born of the human race. The Son of God had to become the Son of Man. It's as simple as that. Not that those


you know biblical research labels aren't necessary I suppose but it didn't have the messianic significance necessarily. The term seems to come out most in the Old Testament in the Book of Daniel where this mysterious figure the Son of Man is one like the Son of Man who comes before the throne in the ancient days and to him he's given power and dominion. Remember? And that's taken up in the New Testament and applied to Jesus. And when he picks up the term Son of Man it's taken as his taking that position in the Book of Daniel as being somehow on the same level as God taking it to himself and calling himself the Son of Man. But also God spoke to the prophets and called them Son of Man. So the title is really clear. But Jesus somehow takes it and puts it in its ultimate sense and the Son of God becomes Son of Man. Irenaeus loves to


to find that kind of phrase that brings things together in the ultimate consciousness. So it's as if the phrase really means man himself over the other Babylonians in Babylon. That's right. That's right. The Son of Man is man. Sometimes that's all it seems to mean according to the Exodus. To be a son of man is to be a human being. But I think in the end we still have to use all the other words to describe the Son of Man. That's right. That's right. And for Irenaeus it means that whole incarnational reality in which he is his son. Then in number eight why he condemns the these pseudonostics. Their doctrine is homicidal. Conjecturing up as it does a number of gods and simulating many fathers but lowly in dividing the Son of God in many ways. He's going to say more about this later. And he quotes


first John in his first letter. Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God. Every spirit which separates Jesus Christ is not of God but of Antichrist. So he's identifying his own battle with these Valentinians with the struggle of John the author of the first letter of John. And that's whoever those people were they were called Antichrists or disciples of the Antichrist. So the incarnation of the central threat and that's the central threat that the Gnostics want to say because they want to bypass what? They want to bypass our human morality to a degree and so do what the rest of us believe. Anything on that one? Let me just point out for a second the thing about the Vatican is that the connection which I think is in Irenaeus and will appear later on between


the Sophia of the Gnostics who was the central turn the central aeon in the Gnostic scheme was on the edge of the Pleromone and out of everything that's outside of the Pleromone including the creation is Jennifer. She's responsible. She's in the Pleromone and she's responsible for everything that happens outside of the Pleromone. If you were to say that in Orthodox Christianity everything is created in the Word it's almost like you're saying in Gnostic Christianity in the Valentine everything is created out of Sophia even though by a couple of stages it was out of the Pleromone. Now, Sophia is connected with Eve in some way. According to Irenaeus he's also going to accuse the Gnostics of playing the same character to circumvent what they needed. And also with Marek in Irenaeus


this is implicit but you're going to find that it's a pretty strong connection as we go along. And so the disappearance of that Sophia when Irenaeus is writing against the Gnostics is somehow compensated for by the central role that he gives to the Gnostics. We may want later on to compare the two which is something that doesn't just concern Areology as well as the Gnostics. It doesn't just concern the limited sector but it concerns the whole of Gnosticism. The whole thing of virginity and the life of renunciation and all of those things continue to be protected. Maybe we have time for one more text


minute. Let's start with this. This would be book three chapter 19 page 448 and 449. This would conclude book three for us. The ones we're going to treat together. Now the argument here is similar to the argument in the last text that we took. That is that Jesus Christ is not just man but he's God. He's the Word of God and he has become human being become creature too. Was very God not a mere man but very God begotten of the Father Most High and very man born of the Virgin. Remember Son of God Son of Man. Those who assert that he was simply a mere man begotten by Joseph remaining in the bondage of the elder's obedience within a state of death.


Now here you get the connection between true belief and life. Notice also all that's tied to correct belief in the Word of God or Irenaeus. So it becomes an immensely important struggle. It's not just a kind of tidying up of the art of getting these guys straightened up. It's a question of life or death whether or not. People who don't believe in the divinity of Jesus as he says are in a state of death because they cannot receive the gift that comes through Jesus through the love of God. People who don't believe in God remaining in the bondage of the old disobedience are in a state of death and not as yet joined to the Word of God the Father joined to the Word somehow we participate in the Word through faith through faith in him nor receiving liberty freedom through the Son as he does himself declare the Son shall make you free you should be free indeed. Maybe he's thinking about


a freedom that the Duke claimed but which is not true the Word of God. Being ignorant of him who from the Virgin is Emmanuel they are deprived of his gift which is eternal life so if you don't have freedom you don't have eternal life not receiving the incorruptible Word and remain in mortal flesh and are debtors to death not obtaining the antidote to life or the medicine to whom the Word says you are all sons of the highest in God who are destined to be in person he speaks undoubtedly these words to those who have not received the gift of adoption adoption of sons but who despise the incarnation of the pure generation of the Word of God now that too is a very dense phrase because the incarnation of the pure generation of the Word of God adoption


generation incarnation um that is the generation from the Father the incarnation which is generation being begotten in the virgin son of God son of man sons and daughters of God that's the sequence three phases whether that's full or yet or not Jesus is the son of God the Word of God he is the son of man and by believing that we are joined to him in such a way that we become sensitive that's right despise the incarnation he despised the incarnation because he didn't want to bear that weight of mortality of flesh defraud him in nature of promotion into God and prove themselves ungrateful it's one of the things he most often reproaches in Aston's work ungrateful to the Word of God who became flesh for him for it was


for this end that the Word of God was made man and he who was the son of God became the son of man that man having been taken into the Word and receiving the adoption might become the son of God notice there's a kind of logic there that the fathers have that sometimes escapes us or sometimes seems to us in their poetry why does he have to become what we are so that we may become what he is we don't think about who there's a kind of metaphysics that we've lost we've lost touch with very much interested in he had to become what we are so that we might become what he is or that the Holy Spirit has to be God if he is to confer on us eternal life that's the logic or the metaphysics which is in the fathers we take a little work for us to think that way or to see that it had to be that way hmm


yeah they tend to say that it had to be that way we would say that it is that way because he's done it they would they would tend to say it has to be that way yeah that's kind of analogy yeah that's why Gandhi had to learn that he can be a member of the creation thought that that would work hmm yeah um by no other means could we have attained to incorruptibility and immortality those big words which mean eternal life the life of God unless we had been united to incorruptibility and immortality but how could that happen unless first incorruptibility and immortality


had become that which we also are so that the corruptible might be swallowed up by incorruptibility. Remember that St. Paul, immortality is swallowed up by death, swallowed up by death. And the corruptible might be swallowed up by incorruptibility, and the mortal by immortality might deceive you with that kind of sign. And who shall declare his generation? Remember that St. Isaac, I was telling you about. But he interprets generation as corruption, although it wasn't intended, you know. There were generations who were studying the complex of the universe. He who is not born, either by the will of the flesh or the will of man, is the son of man. This is Christ, the son of the living God. And then he said, you can't call anybody else, any other man, that we call Lord or God, only the Christ. And he exalts him, repeating his titles. He is himself, in his own right, the on-going man, whoever the God in the world, and continually turning him in front of you. Now, the two generations, the two births,


a little further down in time. He wasn't a mere man, but he had, beyond all others, in himself a preeminent birth, which is from the Most High Father. I'm telling you about having it in himself. It reminded me of Hecarim, which is the great gift of the throne. And also experienced that preeminent generation, which is from the Virgin. Now, for Irenaeus, the virgin birth and the divinity of Christ were almost the same thing. He's in the end of life, with a similar logic to the logic we were pointing out, between incarnation and our divinity. Number three, for as he became man, in order to undergo temptation, so also was he the word, the Logos, that he might be glorified. Now, that seems like just redundancy, until you read it a couple of times, and you realize, especially reading the Gospel of John, that the Logos becomes man, and puts aside his glory,


cleanses himself, puts aside his glory, and goes through the whole journey of the human being, including death, in order that he might become himself. Father, now give me the glory which I had before the world was created, the glory I had before the world was created. That means to come back and to be really the Logos again. So he says that the word was quiet while he was man. He was quiescent. I didn't look up here at the moment. The word was quiescent. He was muted. Remember the servant poems? How he didn't open his mouth, that kind of quietness, that humility, which is a form of quietness. To be quiet, to be quiescent, for Irenaeus, means not to show his glory. It's the same thing that St. Paul means when he says he emptied himself. The word remaining quiescent, that he might be capable of the intent to dishonor and crucify the suffering of men. Now he, like a sheep, he didn't open his mouth. That notion was there. Notice the recording of the servant poem.


But the human nature being swallowed up in it, when it conquered and endured. Think of the logos now. And that once it's been, as it were, released from the bondage of death and mortality, it comes into its own and swallows up the human nature. Now notice that for a Gnostic, to be swallowed up might mean to disappear. For Irenaeus, to be swallowed up, the human nature doesn't disappear, what happens? It becomes whatever it's destined to be. It comes into its fullness. It doesn't disappear like a drop in the ocean. To be swallowed up doesn't mean that. And I don't know what the original is for human nature, but it might be mortality, or something like that, in a lot of cases. He, therefore, the Son of God, our Lord, being the word of the Father and the Son of Man, since he had a generation, he plays on that word, as to his human nature from Mary, who was descended from mankind, and was herself a human being, would make the Son of Man. Then this sign, which is in Isaiah,


remember, it's King Ahaz, and Ahaz and Isaiah comes to him, and God says to Isaiah, ask a sign from the Lord, either in the heavens above or in the deeps below. And Ahaz says, not in my life, not in my life. So then Isaiah says, well, the Lord says, I'm going to give you a sign. A virgin will bear a son in his name, and he'll become a man of God. In the depth below and in the height above. Which man did not ask for, because he had been inspected. But the virgin could bear forth a son, that which was thus born should be God with us, Emmanuel. Descend to those things which are of the earth. OK, this is the sign in the depth below, that he descends. Seeking a sheep which is perished, which indeed is unprepared to handle it. And ascend to the height above. So he descends to pick up the whole creation, and mankind in the middle of it, the sheep. And ascends back to the Father, to the height above, offering and commending to his Father that human nature, hominem, which means man,


which had been found, making in his own person the first fruits of the resurrection of man. So the head rises first from the body, the first fruits and then the remaining parts of the body. And then he got on. It's a texture woven of quotes from St. Paul and St. John. And notice, it's the notion of Christ as the Word, in whom all things were created. The Word of the Father. And who becomes man, and then who becomes Word in her. It's that notion that enables Ernest to, as it were, string everything on that thread, and therefore put all the doorbells together. And discover it's symmetry, it's a piece of time. Any questions about that? Next time we'll go on with book four, but we shouldn't spend too much time on that. He's very rich, but there are some other fathers to follow. The next one, of course, will be coming at our end.


And they develop the notion of Gnosis in another direction. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it were, as it were.