Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Reinscribing the Jews: The Story of Aristides’ Apology 2.2–4 and 14.1b–15.2

  • William C. Rutherford (a1)

Abstract

In his Apology, Aristides paints a picture of Judaism that commentators have summarily praised as “surprising,” manifesting a “Jewish-friendly spirit,” “very favorable,” bearing “no trace of ill-feeling to the Jews,” “rather mild,” and lacking “every severity of tone, every anti-Jewish polemic.”1 In light of these positive notes, it seems rather shocking that scholarship on Aristides has traditionally devoted only cursory and insubstantial attention to his evaluation of the Jews, especially since it informs the study of early Jewish-Christian relations.2 Recently Judith Lieu and Denise Kimber Buell have attempted to remedy this gap.3 They have invigorated the study of Apology by approaching the text with a fresh set of questions and by posing solutions based on recent methodologies in literary and ethno-racial analysis. Their informed studies spotlight an “ethnic” discourse in Apology and the controlling influence it plays in Aristides’ construction of a Christian “race” distinguished from other ethnicities, including a Jewish “race.”

Copyright

References

Hide All

1 Respectively, Harris, J. Rendel, The Apology of Aristides on Behalf of the Christians: From a Syriac Ms. Preserved on Mount Sinai, with an Appendix by J. Armitage Robinson (TS 1.1; Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1891) 13; Raabe, Richard, Die Apologie des Aristides (TU 9.1; Leipzig: J. C. Hinrichs, 1892) 57; Hennecke, Edgar, “Zur Frage nach der ursprünglichen Textgestalt der Aristides-Apologie,” ZWTh 36 (1893) 42126, at 94; Kay, David M., “The Apology of Aristides the Philosopher,” in The Ante-Nicene Fathers: Additional Volume (ed. Menzies, Allan; 2nd ed.; New York: Christian Literature Company, 1897) 259–79, at 261; Geffcken, Johannes, Zwei griechische Apologeten (Leipzig: Teubner, 1907) 82; and Schreckenberg, Heinz, Die christlichen Adversus-Judaeos-Texte und ihr literarisches und historisches Umfeld (1.–11. Jh.) (2 vols.; 4th rev. ed.; Europäische Hochschulschriften, Reihe 23: Theologie, Band 172; Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang, 1999) 1.179. Translations are mine unless otherwise noted.

2 Grant, Robert M. devotes a few meager paragraphs to this theme (Greek Apologists of the Second Century [London: SCM Press, 1988] 37, 45), while Simon's, Marcel influential work offers only tidbits (Verus Israel: A Study of the Relations between Christians and Jews in the Roman Empire (AD 135–425) [trans. McKeating, H.; The Littman Library of Jewish Civilization; London: Oxford University Press, 1996] 86, 108, 345). Discussion of Apology is absent from Williams, A. Lukyn, Adversus Judaeos: A Bird's-Eye View of Christian Apologiae until the Renaissance (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1935)—though Apology does not technically rank among Adversus Judaeos literature—and from Wilson, Stephen G., Related Strangers: Jews and Christians. 70–170 C.E. (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1995). Most commentaries and editions offer only brief observations and fail to address in any depth the process of establishing the textual basis of Apology 2.2–4 and 14.1–15.2 and Aristides’ attitude towards the Jews. Geffcken includes a brief note on chapter 14 (Apologeten, 82–83). Hennecke reproduces the versional witnesses (Die Apologie des Aristides. Recension und Rekonstruktion des Textes [TU 4.3; Leipzig: J. C. Hinrichs, 1893]) and supplements his edition with an article in which he devotes a healthy discussion to the textual state of chapters 2 and 14, though not to Aristides’ attitude towards the Jews (“Zur Frage,” 53–54, 63–81, 93–96). Seeberg, R. (“Die Apologie des Aristides,” NKZ 2 [1891] 935–66) pays special attention to textual issues, yet devotes only pages 941–42 to Apology 14. Raabe offers a page to textual questions on chapter 14 and less than a full page to commenting on the Jews (Apologie, 56–57, 94–95); his discussion on chapter 2 is more expansive (ibid., 27–34). See also Alpigiano, Carlotta, Aristide di Atene. Apologia (Biblioteca Patristica; Florence: Centro Internazionale del Libro, 1988) 1619, 137–42, 180.

3 Lieu, Judith, “The Race of the Godfearers,” JTS 46 (1995) 483501, esp. at 489–90; eadem, Image and Reality: The Jews in the World of the Christians in the Second Century (London: T&T Clark, 2003) 164–77; Buell, Denise Kimber, “Rethinking the Relevance of Race for Early Christian Self-Definition,” HTR 94 (2001) 449–76, at 461; eadem, “Race and Universalism in Early Christianity,” JECS 10 (2002) 429–68, at 440–42; eadem, Why This New Race: Ethnic Reasoning in Early Christianity (New York: Columbia University Press, 2005). Another notable exception includes O'Ceallaigh, G. C., “‘Marcianus’ Aristides, On the Worship of God,” HTR 51 (1958) 227–54. However, O'Ceallaigh does not attribute Apology to a Christian at all, but to one Marcianus Aristides, a second-century proselyte to Hellenistic Judaism, a theory that is now largely discredited.

4 The numbering system throughout this article is that of Tables 1 and 2 below. Outside of 2.2–4 and 14.1–15.2, the numbering follows that of the Sources chrétiennes edition (Aristide. Apologie [ed. Bernard Pouderon et al.; SC 470; Paris: Éditions du Cerf, 2003]; hereafter, SC 470). I generally follow Harris's translation of Syriac with minor changes in consultation with the Syriac text and the translations of David M. Kay and Marie Joseph-Pierre (Harris, Apology, 35–51; Kay, “Apology,” 263–79; Marie-Joseph Pierre, in SC 470, 181–251).

5 Bernard Pouderon, “Aristide et les Juifs. À propos d’Apol. 14,2 Ba.,” StPatr 36 (2001) 76–86. His conclusions do not seem to have changed in his impressive commentary (see SC 470, 55–58, 173–77, 372–82).

6 “Mais même dans ce qui les rapproche si étroitement,” Pouderon observes, “Aristide oppose juifs et chrétiens sans équivoque” (SC 470, 64; emphasis added).

7 I date Apology to 124–125 c.e. (see Eusebius's Chron. ccxxvi), written ostensibly to Emperor Hadrian (Antoninus [tit. Sy] is a later erroneous addition; note singular fol. 1v, l. 44 and the address to Hadrian in the Armenian), though it is more likely an “open letter” (lettre ouverte) intended for Christian (perhaps also non-Christian) consumption that was occasioned by the emperor's first visit to Athens. On provenance, genre, and audience, see esp. SC 470, 32–49.

8 Shortly after J. Rendel Harris's discovery of Apology Syriac, J. Armitage Robinson realized that the Greek text of Apology was substantially contained in the medieval romance The Lives of Barlaam and Joasaph. The two versions were subsequently published together in Harris's Apology. The flurry of scholarly activity that followed the release of Greek and Syriac texts in the next decade was predominantly concerned with resolving text-critical issues.

9 The methodological claim resurfaces in 3.1 for both texts. The Armenian translation supports the claim at 2.1 but is non-extant at 3.1. Triple tradition secures the authenticity of this broad strategy.

10 1.1: , and lead to . In both Greek and Oriental traditions, truth claims are possible (if only partial) through the potency of nature's order to evoke the divine.

11 Despite recent studies of Apology's “ethnic” strategy (see n. 3), I am not yet prepared to regard () as primarily an “ethnic” group without qualification, for two reasons: 1) the semantic range of is notoriously broad and does not easily translate into modern analytic definitions of “ethnicity,” and 2) Greek and Syriac use different strategies to classify the knowledge of a in ways that may compromise “ethnic” readings. Greek privileges ethical and ritual patterns, while Syriac traces the integration of three metrics within each —constitutional tradition (from a primal legislator), ethical behavior, and cultic activity. The Greek suggests that a engenders a cultic heritage that can be adopted by multiple (2:2a: the Chaldaean, Greek, and Egyptian “have become founders and educators for the remaining regarding the cultic devotion and worship of the polyonomous ‘gods’”); the Syriac suggests that a comprises a “cultural kinship” that can incorporate various ethnic identities (once we have accounted for certain later glosses that shifted the Syriac text in a “religious” direction; see William C. Rutherford, “Citizenship among Jews and Christians: Civic Discourse in the Apology of Aristides,” StPatr 65; forthcoming). To reflect such reservations, I use glosses that envision alternative readings of -identity in Apology (e.g., “type,” “community,” “kinship,” or even “human race” when the totality of humanity is envisioned).

12 In contrast, we possess only a single fragment of the work of Aristides’ contemporary, Quadratus (Eusebius, Hist. eccl. 4.3.2).

13 Pouderon's stemma in English translation with modifications (see SC 470, 172). The modifications (i.e., DiscBa and DiscNa graphically situated within the medieval romance Barlaam and Joasaph) are mine and have been made to aid the discussion in this article. They are in line with Pouderon's conclusions that the two metaphrases are independent witnesses to “un protoptype [sic] unique” (“Aristide et les Juifs,” 79). Pouderon's stemma in SC 470 connects x directly with Barlaam and Joasaph using a single solid line.

14 SC 470, 107–72. Apology also likely influenced several Georgian martyrologies, most notably the sixth-century (ca. 570 c.e.) Martyrdom of Saint Eustace of Mtskheta (see Guiorgadzé's discussion in SC 470, 415–32). For an English translation of Martyrdom, consult David Marshall Lang, Lives and Legends of the Georgian Saints (New York: MacMillan, 1956) 94–114. For text-critical purposes, the value of the Georgian metaphrases is negligible.

15 DiscBa = Ba §§44b–56a; DiscNa = Ba §§239b–55a. The metaphrases are available in the editions of Boissonade, J. Fr. (Anecdota graeca. Vol. IV [Paris, 1832] 4456, 239–55) and of Woodward, G. R. and Mattingly, Harold (John Damascene: Barlaam and Ioasaph [LCL 34; Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2006) §§44–56, 239–55.

16 On Euthymius (late 10th c.) as editor of Barlaam, see Ilia V. Abuladze's introduction in Lang, David M., The Balavariani: A Buddhist Tale from the Christian East Translated from the Old Georgian (London: George Allen and Unwin, 1966) 1941, esp. 38–41; see also SC 470, 110–17, and Lang, David M., “St. Euthymius the Georgian and the Barlaam and Ioasaph Romance,” BSOAS 17 (1955) 306–25.

17 On the process of Barlaam's production, Abuladze notes Lang's analysis that “in the Greek Barlaam romance there is not a single part of the text of any importance (except for the Biblical and Patristic quotations and the Apology of Aristides) which is not to be found in the Georgian version” (Lang, Balavariani, 32).

18 That DiscBa could not have served as an immediate source for DiscNa is also certain, since the latter contains a much fuller text of Apology than the former. Pouderon thus rightly identifies “quatre sources grecques,” i.e., Π1, Π2, DiscBa, and DiscNa (“Aristide et les Juifs,” 76).

19 The presence of a proto-Syriac precursor for Armenian and Syriac texts cannot be absolutely excluded, yet Pouderon demonstrates the problematic nature of such a suggestion and argues convincingly on linguistic grounds for a Greek precursor (Pouderon et al., “À propos de l'Apologie d'Aristide. Recherches sur un prototype commun aux versions syriaque et arménienne,” RevScRel 74 [2000] 173–93).

20 This assumes that Apology was produced in a single stage and not in two stages, as Robert Grant has proposed (Greek Apologists, 36–39, 45). Grant distinguishes between a short and long recension of Apology, the former composed during the rule of Hadrian, then reissued with additions during the rule of Antoninus Pius. For a helpful critique, see SC 470, 35–37, 161.

21 The middle column of Table 1 is based on Pouderon, “Aristide et les Juifs,” 84–85.

22 Pouderon, “À propos de l'Apologie d'Aristide,” 177.

23 On the form , see SC 470, 189 n. 3.

24 2.3 Ar: “But the Jews attribute the origin of their kinship to Abraham, and they say Isaac was the son of Abraham; and Jacob, of Isaac; and from Jacob [came] the twelve who crossed from Syria into Egypt, and therethey were called the kinship of the Hebrewsby their lawgiver. And having come into the promised land, they were called the Jewish kinship.” Translation from French in SC 470, 311.

25 This divergence has resulted from the lacunary state of several sources (Π1; Π2; Ar) and from the traditionally ill-defined relationship of the witnesses to one another (see SC 470, 143). Shortly after the publication of the editio princeps, Richard Raabe favored the threefold division of Barlaam in chapter 2, retained the brief genealogy of 14.1b, and regarded 14.2ab as a later adaptation (Apologie, 27–34, 56–57). Edgar Hennecke's eclectic edition generally followed the structure of Syriac for chapter 14, excluding the entirety of 14.1b–2b (Apologie, 34–35; Syriac on the left side of the page indicates “die Präsumption grösserer Ursprünglichkeit” [ibid., xix]; on his reasons, see Hennecke, “Zur Frage,” 93–96). In his 1907 edition, Johannes Geffcken moved 2.3ab Sy to 14.1b–2a and excluded 14.2b altogether; his text of chapter 2 follows Barlaam (Apologeten, 5, 21–22). In a more recent edition, Carlotta Alpigiano shifts 14.1b–2a to chapter 2 ( = Apol. 2,5 in Alp. ed.) and regards 14.2b as “sicuramente una invenzione dell'autore del romanzo” (sc. Barlaam) (Aristide, 61 n. 4, 59–60, 112).

26 “Ces rapprochements entre les textes des deux discours du vrai et du faux Barlaam sont assez étroits pour qu'on en tire la conclusion qu'ils proviennent tous deux d'un protoptype [sic] unique, qui ne peut être que l’Apologie originelle” (Pouderon, “Aristide et les Juifs,” 79).

27 “Le texte d'Aristide porte sur les Juifs (et les Hébreux) un jugement fort contrasté, mais tout à fait cohérent” (ibid., 85).

28 I am not suggesting that editorial changes occurred only in a single stemmatic branch; both Greek and Oriental traditions evidence some changes. The Oriental tradition was redacted at an intermediate stage of transmission, if the note on the elements at Apol. 2.5 (present in Sy and Ar, but not in Ba) is not original to Apology. Similarly, the Greek has undergone an editorial process, which most scholars attribute to the editor of Barlaam. However, if the present argument proves convincing, Barlaam's editor is not to blame for the major invasive alterations to the Greek text in Apology 2.2–4 and 14.1–15.2. Nevertheless, both the amount and the types of major changes necessitated by Pouderon's theory across both Greek and Oriental traditions in these chapters seem improbable.

29 The absence of “their lawgiver” in DiscBa (cf. DiscNa: Ba §252) poses no threat to the present observations. It is easily explained by the periphrastic character of the shorter metaphrase, DiscBa, which Pouderon characterizes as “très libre” and “moins complète et moins fidèle” to its precursor than DiscNa, described as “assez fidèle” (“Aristide et les Juifs,” 77, 80). In hagiographic fashion Euthymius interlards fragments and portions of his exemplar into DiscBa to meet the rhetorical needs of the narrative context of Barlaam (i.e., Barlaam's speech to the young Joasaph). In this way, DiscBa at times preserves precise phrasings from its Apology exemplar, while on other occasions it preserves periphrastic expansions or contractions of units from the exemplar. The precise language of “there” and “through Moses” is thus preserved from the exemplar x, while the concept of Moses as lawgiver is represented in DiscBa through an expansionary, explanatory comment on God transmitting the law through the mediation of Moses; this explanatory comment (at Ba §51a) occurs in immediate proximity to Euthymius's much-expanded Egypt Narrative (at Ba §50b), precisely in the very sequence that the language of “their lawgiver” would have followed in exemplar x.

30 This is not to deny that Euthymius is responsible for some editorial changes to his copy of Apology when he inserted it into Barlaam (e.g., the concluding note——at 14.4c is likely his). The evidence demands, however, that this major transposition and emendation, if it occurred in the Greek recension, occurred prior to Euthymius and was already present in his Vorlage. See further n. 65.

31 In DiscNa, postpositive introduces the Egypt Narrative (14.2a) and the contrastive conjunction marks the censure of the Jews (14.2b). These structural markers strengthen the suggested link between 14.2a and 14.2b as well as the connection of 14.2ab with the Patriarchal Narrative (14.1b). In DiscBa, the three units are sequentially united across a much lengthier, expanded narrative on the Jews and their relationship to Jesus (Ba §§49b–56a), in a manner entirely consistent with the character of DiscBa (see n. 29).

32 Geffcken (rightly) cautions against overconfidence and (somewhat misguidedly) argues that textual decisions between Syriac and Barlaam must be handled on a case-by-case basis (Apologeten, xxxv–xxxvii). As a general principle, textual differences should be examined on an individual basis. In following this principle, however, scholars have often overlooked the systematic character of the restructuring of material across Apology 2.2–4 and 14.1–15.2. This is a case of missing the forest for the trees.

33 On 14.4c (Table 3, no. 19), see n. 30.

34 14.3a: is adjunctive (“for now too”) or ascensive (“for even now”). In either case it indicates that the contemporary Jewish monolatrous cult (14.3a) merely perpetuates the pattern of idolatrous worship and unethical behavior that characterized previous generations of Jews (14.2b). At the same time, the discursive logic implies that the idolatry of ancient Jewry was actually an aberrant expression of monolatry.

35 14.4a: .

36 14.4a: .

37 14.4a: .

38 14.4a: explanatory .

39 Reference to God's “mighty hand and outstretched arm” (14.2a Ba) recalls the leitmotif of God's power in the exodus event (lxx Exod 6:1; Deut 3:24; 4:34; 5:15; etc.), as does “wonders and signs” (lxx Exod 7:3, 9; 11:9–10; Deut 4:34; 6:22; etc.). Mention of idolatry (14.2bα) probably also envisions Pentateuchal passages (lxx Exod 32; Deut 32:21) and scriptural prophetic diatribes (e.g., lxx Jer 2:4–13). The Greek text incorporates contemporary Jewry within (a Christian reading of) Israel's ancestral narratives.

40 14.2b: , regarded as their distinctive “crime” ().

41 is here an ingressive aorist despite lexical influences. It does not indicate the annihilation of the Jews (i.e., contemporary Jewry still exists in 14.3–4 Ba) but signals the decisive, verdictive moment that placed “the Jews”—ancient, recent, and future generations—under the penalty of divine judgment. 14.2bβ identifies that moment as Jewish involvement in Jesus’ death ( = the singular “crime” of that generation). Christicide was the culmination of all prior Jewish disobedience and persecution of God's agents from the exodus onward (14.2bα), and contemporary generations continue to reject God's Son (14.4a).

42 The presentation ascribes two key boundary markers to Jewishness—the confessions () of the Shema’ (; Deut 6:4) and of the propriety of exclusive worship to God alone (; see Exod 20:3; Deut 5:7). Geffcken's opinion that Aristides did not know much more about the Jews than Tacitus and Strabo sidesteps the depth of theological awareness in ch. 14, if the Syriac accurately reflects primitive Apology here (Apologeten, 82).

43 There is no epistemic shift in Syriac as there was with Barlaam. The claim that Jews are “much nearer to the truth” is evaluated on the basis of natural revelation, not special revelation. 14:3a: appeals to the prior Jewish confessions, while the subsequent clause resubstantiates the claim—they privilege the worship of the creator God more than the things he has made.

44 “Eine Anerkennung, die in den Urteilen weder der heidnischen noch der christlichen Zeitgenossen sonst hervortritt” (Hennecke, “Zur Frage,” 95).

45 O'Ceallaigh, “‘Marcianus’ Aristides,” 249–50; Pouderon, “Aristide et les Juifs,” 82–83.

46 For Ba and Sy Pouderon speaks of a “primauté des actes” and notes, “Ce qui forme la caractère propre de la religion d'Aristide, c'est son fondement moral” (SC 470, 71, 69, resp.).

47 The importance of cultic activity in Apology was recognized by a later scribe who supplied a title in the Syriac tradition describing the work as pertaining to “the fear of God” (). See ibid., 28 n. 2, 183 n. 2.

48 There is an implied contrast of cultic systems: the rituals of the Mosaic law, understood as (at one time) having been given by God through the mediation of angels, stand in contrast to the spiritual service to God (15.3bc) now mediated by the Messiah (15.8). Continued observance of antiquated rituals now that the new form of service has come effectively consigns Jews to a system of angel devotion, for the spiritual God of Apology 1 is most clearly seen not in mundane calendrical, dietary, and purity rites but in the new spiritual messianic community. This would explain how Jewish “ritual service” can be directed to angels in contrast to God (14.4b: ) without requiring their conscientious cultic obeisance to angels (14.4a: ).

49 The eulogy of Jewish monotheism and ethics in 14.3ab is qualified in 14.4ab, which in turn provides entrée into the praise of Christian monotheism (15.3) and ethics (15.4–9) without corresponding qualification. Accusation of angel devotion is not “in violent contrast” to the material that precedes it (pace O'Ceallaigh, “‘Marcianus’ Aristides,” 246). Rather, it represents an attempt to remove Jewish participation in truth one step from that of Christians. Pouderon's comment is apropos: 14.4 “permet de relativiser la portée d’Apol. 14,3a Sy+Ba, qui attribue aux Juifs la connaissance et le culte du Dieu unique, en insistant sur le fait que certaines de leurs pratiques sont erronées, temoignant ainsi de l'imperfection de la connaissance qu'ils ont de Dieu” (“Aristide et les Juifs,” 83).

50 Zech 12:10 (mt): (Qal of dqr) and Apology Sy (Etpa. of dqr). Syriac probably reflects Greek that is common in Christian tradition (John 19:37; Rev 1:7; Justin Dial. 14.8; 32.2; 64.7; 118.1) and attested in lxx “revisions” that build on earlier traditions (; Septuaginta. Vetus Testamentum Graecum, XIII: Duodecim Prophetae [ed. Joseph Ziegler; 3rd ed.; Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1984] 319, apparatus).

51 See also SC 470, 190 n. 1.

52 14.4a: .

53 I cannot follow Pouderon in retaining 14.2b Ba alongside 14.3b Sy (“Aristide et les Juifs,” 84; see also SC 470, 379). In so doing he has difficulty reconciling these passages, referring to Aristides’ evaluation of the Jews as “fort contrasté” yet somehow regarding them as “tout à fait cohérent” (“Aristide et les Juifs,” 85). The tension between these passages presumably led Alpigiano to reject 14.2b (Aristide, 61 n. 4). The juxtaposition of monolatry and angel devotion in Syriac (14.3a, 4b), on the other hand, poses but minimal difficulty, for angel devotion is only a side effect of a monolatry that is based in Torah and is a necessary qualification to differentiate Jews from Christians (see further nn. 48–49).

54 Antique Jewry cannot be divorced from its contemporary manifestation in the Greek version of Apology; an attack on one is an attack on the other. Despite a general shift in timeframe between 14.2ab and 3a (note aorist and present tenses) in Barlaam, there is no ideological disjunction between ancient, recent, and contemporary manifestations of the Jewish . See also n. 34.

55 The present analysis builds on similar points made by Pouderon (in SC 470, 150–56).

56 Ibid., 153–54.

57 Ba §§19, 233, 286; SC 470, 154–56, 155 n. 4. A participial form of does occur immediately after the preamble (Ba §3).

58 So Robinson (in Harris, Apology, 70).

59 2.2b Sy, Ar.

60 2.2c Sy, Ar.

61 2.3a Sy, Ar; 14.1b Ba.

62 2.4 Sy, Ar; 15.1–2 Ba.

63 Though the Syriac tradition evinces no explicit corporate genealogy for an Egyptian , Egyptians do share an implicit (cultural) kinship with Greeks in the logic of the Syriac. Specifically, the Egyptian Danaus is inscribed as an individual into a fictive Greek ancestry. The Syriac text traces Greek corporate identity from Hellen, purportedly born of Zeus (2.2; 9.1), and structurally marks each successive ancestral figure with the ablative preposition . This includes Danaus (), legend-ary founder of the Peloponnesian city of Argos and mythic leader of the Greek Argives. By extension, it seems, Syriac regards Egyptians as quintessentially Greek. Here there are indications that Hellenic identity is construed in cultural terms (see Rutherford, “Citizenship”).

64 Such accusations are common. Robinson, e.g., regards the Barlaam editor as having replaced the fourfold division with the threefold (in Harris, Apology, 70), as does Alpigiano (Aristide, 137).

65 I do not claim that Euthymius made only minor alterations to his Vorlage elsewhere. In fact, the shorter text of 15.4–9 Ba (as compared to Syriac and Π2) evinces Euthymius's abridgment of his Vorlage to situate it into Barlaam. See also n. 30.

66 The same does not hold for his paraphrasing from Apology in DiscBa, where he expresses much greater freedom. On the character of DiscBa, see n. 29.

67 In a groundbreaking study of Christians as a “third race,” Adolf Harnack recognized the potential of -language as a mode of framing Christian peoplehood and political consciousness (The Mission and Expansion of Christianity in the First Three Centuries [trans. and ed. James Moffatt; 2nd ed.; New York: Harper & Brothers, 1962] 240–78).

68 See n. 14 above and SC 470, 430 n. 4. The influence of Apology in fifth- and sixth-century Georgian hagiographies—“les plus anciens monuments de la littérature géorgienne”—seems considerable (see Guiorgadzé's review in SC 470, 415–32, citing 415–16). Apology's attack against fire worship in 5.2 has strong reverberations in the Martyrdom of Rajden, of Chouchanike, of Abibos, and of Saint Eustace. A conflict with Persian Mazdaism, its astrolatry and pyrolatry, provides the political and religious Sitz im Leben for the Georgian martyrdoms (Guiorgadzé in SC 470, 416–17).

69 Martyrdom's mention of homosexuality/incest and “Hebrews” finds parallel only in the Syriac Apology (17.2; 2.3 resp.), whereas its threefold kinship division might suggest dependence on a copy of Apology that is closer to the Greek with its threefold -division. Given the social context of Georgian hagiographies (see n. 68), it is no surprise that Persians emerge as the third “other” in Martrydom. The threefold division may thus be explained as a contextualization of an original threefold or fourfold pattern in Apology, so that it remains uncertain whether the author of Martyrdom knew a version of Apology closer to the Greek or Oriental tradition.

70 The traditional “Parting of the Ways” model has recently come under scrutiny. See the contributions in The Ways that Never Parted: Jews and Christians in Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages (ed. Adam H. Becker and Annette Yoshiko Reed; Minneapolis: Fortress, 2007).

71 We know little about Kerygma. It is likely a product of early second-century Egyptian Christianity. Heracleon used it in his mid-second-century commentary on John (cited by Origen, Comm. Jo. 13.17.104), as did an anonymous commentator on the first Psalm sometime prior to Clement (cited in Clement of Alexandria, Strom. 2.15.68.1–2; see Ernst von Dobschütz, Das Kerygma Petri kritisch untersucht [TU 11,1; Leipzig: J. C. Hinrichs, 1893] 10; Michel Cambe, Kerygma Petri. Textus et commentarius [CCSA 15; Turnhout: Brepols, 2003] 15–19, 44–45). Heracleon, Clement, and Origen have ties to Alexandria. Additionally, Kerygma shares affinities with another work of Egyptian provenance, Sibylline Oracles book 3 (3.8–22, 29–31; see Cambe, ibid., 225–26; Valentin Nikiprowetzky, La troisième Sibylle [École pratique des hautes études. Études juives 9; Paris: Mouton, 1970] 227–29) and mention of zoolatry (Clement, Strom. 6.5.39.4–40.2) fits well in an Egyptian context. If we accept this provenance, Kerygma may have been produced prior to the Trajanic revolt (115–117 c.e.) after which Egyptian Judaism lost substantial political clout.

72 Alternate punctuation permits another reading: “while supposing that they alone know God, they do not know that they render cultic service to angels.” However, the form preserved in Origen argues against this: .

73 On the resultative use of , see BDAG s.v. 1.b..

74 Preserved in Clement of Alexandria, Strom. 6.5.41.2–3; see also Origen, Comm. Jo. 13.17.104.

75 Kerygma is considered by many to be a source for Apology. See Robinson in Harris, Apology, 86–95; Raabe, Apologie, 29–30; Henri Irénée Marrou, A Diognète. Introduction, édition critique, traduction et commentaire (SC 33; Paris: Éditions du Cerf, 1951) 121. Cambe suggests Kerygma and Apology may have shared a common source (Kerygma, 173–74, 239–41, at 173). Wolfram Kinzig provides tabular comparisons and discussion (Novitas Christiana. Die Idee des Fortschritts in der Alten Kirche bis Eusebius [Forschungen zur Kirchen- und Dogmengeschichte 58; Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1994] 149–52).

76 These warnings are directed against some Jews as well as Christians at this time (Segal, Alan, Two Powers in Heaven: Early Rabbinic Reports about Christianity and Gnosticism [Leiden: Brill, 1977]). Daniel Boyarin avers that the para-rabbinic “two powers” belief in a personal Word of God alongside the one God was the predominant form of Jewish monotheistic belief in first- and second-century Judaism. Logos theology is “the religious Koine of Jews in Palestine and the Diaspora” (“The Gospel of the Memra: Jewish Binitarianism and the Prologue to John,” HTR 94 [2001] 243–84, at 260).

77 On the audience, see n. 7.

78 In this I concur with Marcel Simon, who describes the accusation as “d'origine livresque” and avers, “Elle s'explique, autant peut-être que par un transfert sur le judaïsme synagogal de ce qui se passait dans certaines sectes, à partir d'une simple lecture de texts néotestamentaires” (“Remarques sur l'Angélolâtrie Juive au Début de l’Ère Chrétienne,” in idem, Le Christianisme antique et son contexte religieux. Scripta Varia. Volume II [WUNT 23; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 1981] 450–64, at 459).

79 For more on the logic of this unit, see supraApology 14.3–4 in Syriac” and n. 48.

80 Origen describes these as ongoing, regular occasions (; Ep. Afr. 5).

81 Cels. 1.26.

82 Celsus knew Aristo of Pella's Disputation of Jason and Papiscus, yet he presumably did not receive this argument from there, since Celsus Africanus records that the Christian protagonist (Jason) in this dialogue is himself a Hebrew (Ad Vig. 8).

83 See n. 72.

84 Comm. Cant. i.1; ii.8. I am thankful to Michael Emadi for pointing me to these passages.

85 See, e.g., Boyarin, Daniel, Border Lines: The Partition of Judeo-Christianity (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2004); Ruether, Rosemary Radford, “Judaism and Christianity: Two Fourth-Century Religions,” Sciences religieuses 2 (1972) 110.

Related content

Powered by UNSILO

Reinscribing the Jews: The Story of Aristides’ Apology 2.2–4 and 14.1b–15.2

  • William C. Rutherford (a1)

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed.