- On Friday, January 29, Jerome Engseth sent me an e-mail via crosstalk asking
> Do you have any material that it would be easy to email to me on thegeneral idea of angelomorphic appearances? (Other than Passion Source)
What you call the"Content of the Gospel". Do you find other
indications which are not directly attributable to Ex 14?
> Can one say that Galilee in the passion source is a metaphor, and that"you will see" is in any way the goal of GMARK's writing? That is, that
there is some kind of existential (at least extra-historical)
appropriation of his message. Is it not the hoped for result of the
reader's "following" in the whole story? I would be interested in your
> Jerome Engsethemail: engseth@...
Jerome, I was first made aware of Angelomorphic Christology by Richard N.
Longenecker's little volume _The Christology of Early Jewish Christianity_.
His book was copyrighted in 1970 by SCM Press Ltd., London and reprinted in
1981 by Baker Book House Company, Grand Rapids, Michigan. Longenecker was
Professor of New Testament at Wycliffe College, University of Toronto.
Angelomorphic Christology was one of nine christological concepts
Longenecker identified in early Christian expression. He referred to a
study by Jean Danielou who "demonstrated that terms borrowed from the
vocabulary of angelology were widely used by Christians up to the fourth
century." Longenecker's discussion runs from p.26 to 32. He gives examples
from Tertullian's and Epiphanius'comments on the Ebionites. Test.Dan 6.2,
the Clementine Homilies, Recognitions 2.42 The Shepherd of Hermas and Origin
(among several others) are cited as is GThomas 13. Isa. 63.9 appears to be
a pre-Christian source for the concept: God and "the angel of his presence"
are joined as the prophet wrote, "In all their affliction he was afflicted
and *the angel of his presence*saved them." (In Mk.6.45-52, the Walking on
the Sea, we are given a Sign presented in the context of the ancient story
of Israel's escape from bondage in Egypt by "the angel of his presence," the
Fully as striking IMO is the opening declaration of GMark. "The beginning
of the gospel of Jesus Christ (the Son of God), as it is written in Isaiah
the prophet, "Behold, I send my messenger (TON ANGELON MOU) before thy face
who shall *inaugurate* (KATASKEUASEI) thy way."
Two points: (1) TON ANGELON MOU is identical with the LXX of Mal.3.1. But
the phrases in Mal.3.1 and Mk.1.2 are identical with the LXX of Ex.23.20
also! And while Malachi's passage has God speak of "my messenger (the
'messenger of the covenant') who will prepare the way before me, and the
Lord...will suddenly come to his temple," the function of Mark's 'messenger'
is to make ready *thy* way - the believer's way. And so it was in Ex.23.20.
However, there was this difference. In Exodus the 'messenger' was to "guard
you on the way and...bring you to the place I have prepared." Around that
assurance Israel's covenant with Yahweh would be fashioned.
(2) One can find many commentaries confidently criticizing Mark's "error" in
assigning his conflation in vs.2 to Isaiah rather than to Malachi. In fact,
Mark is the one who knew what he was talking about. His KATASKEUASEI is the
3rd person singular, future indicative of KATASKEUAZO. It is taken from
Second Isaiah's Servant Poems where it translates the Hebrew BARA, "create,"
and its cognates. It appears nowhere else in the LXX. I have translated it
as "will inagurate," since the idea of creating something new, not simply
"preparation," is what the word conveys. It is Jesus, not John who "will
blaze your trail." (I know my interpretation defies tradition. I submit
that the entire Prologue of Mk.1.1-3 is meaningless if we do not see that it
refers to Jesus, not to the Baptizer.)
Now, what does "angelomorphic" itself mean? It is a term which combines the
idea of "the *form* in which something appears" - its morphology - with the
*function* of presenting, and even of being, a divine command. An
angelomorphic christology views Jesus as a fully human being with a divine
mission; it is not concerned with Jesus as a divine being - a *theos aner*
or "God-man." When I referred to the content of the Gospel I meant that IMO
an angelomorphic christology is faithfully adhered to throughout the Gospel.
As one pays close attention to the Gospel in its entirety one finds Jesus
acting as a Spirit-imbued man. (That is what the Baptism is intended to
convey.) And to the extent that the author of GMatthew and Luke understood
Mark, it was not enough. Similarly, GJohn found GMark a useful model but
one that fell far short of presenting the divine Word, the *logos* through
whom all life was created and in whom life is perfected.
The Jesus of GMark would suffer real agony and pain. He would be unable to
escape his own humanity even though he had exercised the Power of God, had
demonstrated the Righteousness of God, and was to be acknowledged as bearing
the actual Authority of God (the first three *structural* "chapters" of
GMark.) He would cry out his abandonment and die. That is Mark's
Jerome asked whether Galilee was a metaphor. Yes, though in Mark's Passion
Source Galilee was the place of familiar encounter where the disciples were
astonished to view a phantasm of one who had died and yet who still lived.
Of that they were witnesses, and in being faithful witnesses their Galilee
became a world.
I hope you find this helpful.
+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +
"In the country of the blind, the man with one
eye is king." - Erasmus
- There is a fresh research on the topic:
Charles A. Gieschen, Angelomorphic Christology. Antecedents
& Early Evidence. Brill. Leiden, Boston, K�ln.
University of Helsinki
Department of Biblical Studies
- On 3 Feb 99 at 10:59, Sakari Hdkkinen wrote:
> There is a fresh research on the topic:See too:
> Charles A. Gieschen, Angelomorphic Christology. Antecedents
> & Early Evidence. Brill. Leiden, Boston, Kvln.
Crispin H.T. Fletcher-Louis, _Luke-Acts: Angels, Christology and Soteriology_
(WUNT 2, 94; Tuebingen: J. C. B. Mohr (Paul Siebeck), 1997).
Part Two of the book is a thorough study of "Jewish Angelomorphic Traditions".
Dr Mark Goodacre mailto:M.S.Goodacre@...
Dept of Theology tel: +44 121 414 7512
University of Birmingham fax: +44 121 414 6866
Birmingham B15 2TT United Kingdom
- You could also try:
Peter Carrell, Jesus and the angels: Angelology and the christology of the
Apocalypse of John (CUP: SNTS 95)
Loren Stuckenbruck, Angel veneration and Christology (Mohr, Tubingen, 1995: