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Re: [XTalk] Philonic influence?

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  • FMMCCOY
    ... From: Bob Schacht To: Sent: Saturday, January 05, 2002 9:42 PM Subject: Re: [XTalk] Philonic
    Message 1 of 6 , Jan 6, 2002
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      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "Bob Schacht" <r_schacht@...>
      To: <crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Saturday, January 05, 2002 9:42 PM
      Subject: Re: [XTalk] Philonic influence?

      > [Frank]
      > >...Finally, I would like to point out that, on past posts to X-talk, I
      > >have made at least three very specific hypotheses regarding the possible
      > >influence of Philonic thought on Jesus. One is that the real Jesus of
      > >history believed himself to be Philo's Logos incarnate in the flesh.
      >
      [Bob]
      > It is easier to see that the author of GJohn considered this to be so,
      than
      > it is to demonstrate that Jesus himself believed it. There is much more
      > evidence for the former than for the latter. If what you say is true, why
      > was this remarkable fact passed over in silence by Mark, Matthew and Luke?
      > Or have I failed to remember some analysis of yours that claimed that
      > Jesus/Logos Christology is also evident in the other Gospels?

      [Frank]
      I have made posts outlining evidence that Mark's Jesus is Philo's Logos
      incarnate in the flesh as the Essenes' Branch of David (e.g., see the posts
      of 7-25, 7-31, 8-2, and 8-5). In my last post to Loren, I point out
      evidence that Jesus is Philo's Logos in the parable of the wise and foolish
      virgins (from Matthew). I have pointed out in past posts that there is
      evidence of a Logos christology in parts of Luke's infancy narrative.

      As respects the Q tradition there is evidence of a Logos Christology in Luke
      10:22-24, "And, having turned to his disciples, he said, 'All things were
      delivered to me by my Father, and no one knows who is the Son except the
      father, and who is the Father except the Son and he to whomsever may will
      the Son to reveal (Him). And, having turned apart to his disciples, he
      said, 'Blessed (are) the eyes that see what you see. For, I say to you,
      many prophets and kings desired to see what you see, and saw not, and to
      hear what you hear, and heard not.'"

      In his essay, Fuga (108-11), Philo declares that the Logos has God as his
      Father and rules the Cosmos as God's Viceroy. Hence, Jesus, by calling
      himself the Son of Father and by declaring that "all things were delivered
      to me by my Father", gives himself attributes that are also attributes of
      Philo's Logos.

      In Jesus' statement, "And no one knows who is the Son except the Father,
      and who is the Father except the Son", he might be speaking as the
      Logos--who has a uniquely intimate association with God. So, in Fuga (101),
      Philo declares, the Logos "is placed nearest, with no intervening
      distance, to the alone truly Existent One."

      In his statement, "And no one knows...who is the Father except the Son and
      he to whomsoever He may will the Son to reveal (Him)", he might be speaking
      as the Logos: who acts as the divine intermediary between man and God. So,
      in Heres (205-206), Philo states, "This same Logos both pleads with the
      immortal as suppliant for afflicted mortality and acts as ambassador of the
      ruler to the subject. He glories in this prerogative and proudly dscribes
      it in these words 'I stood between the Lord and you' (Deut. v. 5)..".

      In his statement, "For, I say to you, many prophets and kings desired to see
      what you see, and saw not, and to hear what you hear, and heard not", he
      might be speaking as the Logos. If so, then he is referring to the fact
      that the Logos, being the Word of God, personifies the speech of God and,
      therefore, speaks the words of God. In this case, it is a statement that
      his disciples, unlike all those before them, both see the Word of God as
      personified in His Logos and hear this Word of God as uttered in its purest
      form by this Logos.

      (Note: Two of the above three quotes from Philo come from Fuga 101 and Fuga
      108-11. It is noteworthy that, as I point out in a post (i.e., "John
      2:1-4:54") of Dec. 19, there is evidence that the author of John had read
      Fuga 77-114)

      There also are, I would like to point out, some passages in GTh which might
      have a Logos Christology.

      For example, in GTh 77, Jesus says, "It is I who am the light which is above
      them all. It is I who am the All. From Me did the All come forth, and unto
      Me did the All extend. Split a piece of wood, and I am there. Lift up the
      stone, and you will find me there."

      When this saying is interpreted in terms of Philo's teaching, Jesus
      speaks as Philo's Logos.

      For example, let us take the first sentence, "It is I who am the light
      which is above them all." Similarly, the Logos is a light which is above
      them all. So, in Som i, 75, Philo states, "For the model or pattern (of the
      visible light) was the Logos, which contained all His Fullness--light, in
      fact."

      Again, let us take the second sentence, "It is I who am the All." Here,
      Jesus might speak as the Logos: the Image of God, who is the
      incorporeal All beheld by the mind, of which the corporeal All beheld by
      sense-perception is a copy. So, in Op. 25, Philo declares, "The whole
      creation, this entire world perceived by our senses (seeing that it is
      greater than any human image) is a copy of the
      Divine Image. It is manifest that the archetypal seal also which we aver to
      be the world descried by the mind, would be the very Logos of God."

      Too, let us look at the first part of the third sentence, "From Me did
      the All come forth." Similarly, it is from the Logos that the corporeal All
      came forth. So, in Sacr. 8, Philo speaks about "that Logos by which also
      the whole universe was formed."

      Also, let us look at the close to this saying, "And unto Me did the All
      extend. Split a piece of wood, and I am there. Lift up the stone, and you
      will find me there." Similarly, the Logos extends himself throughout the
      corporeal All and all its parts. Thus, in Plant. 9, Philo states, "The
      evelasting Logos of the eternal God is the very sure and staunch prop of the
      Whole. He it is, who extending himself from the midst to its utmost bounds
      and from its extremities to the midst again, keeps up though all its length
      Nature's unvanquished course, combining and compacting all its parts. For
      the Father Who begat Him constituted His Logos such a Bond of the Universe
      as none can break."

      The bottom line: Evidence of a Logos Christology can be found in all the
      canonical gospel traditions and in the Thomas tradition as well. Thats a
      lot of smoke spread through a goodly number of what might be independent
      gospel traditions, so there's the possiblity, ISTM, of a fire, i.e., of an
      underlying reality that the real Jesus did claim to be Philo's Logos
      incarnate on earth.

      > >[Bob]
      > > > But you are assuming what is to be proved. How do we really know that
      they
      > > > are *Philonic* ideas? It does not follow equally that if enough ideas
      are
      > > > *attributed* to Philonic thought, then does it really increase the
      > > > probability that they actually were influenced by *Philonic* thought
      (and
      > > > not by some common tradition)?
      > >

      > >[Frank]
      > >I am assuming nothing. If an idea is present in Philonic thought, then
      it
      > >is a Philonic idea. This is a no brainer.
      >
      [Bob]
      > It is also not true. Suppose I write that I think democracy is a good
      > thing. Does that mean that democracy is a Schacht idea? There is a big
      > difference between an idea that crosses someone's mind, and an idea that
      is
      > created by someone. The latter merits credit; the former scarcely matters.

      [Frank]
      .It's now clear to me that the term "Philonic idea" is ambigous, since you
      and I have differing conceptualizations as to its meaning.

      Because the term "Philonic idea" is ambiguous I should not have used it in
      past posts and I apologize to you and to the other X-talk listers for having
      done so. In future posts, I will try to avoid this term and will try to
      only speak of ideas held by Philo. Feel free to jump all over me if, in a
      future post, I forget this and fall back on old ways!

      Frank McCoy
      1809 N. English Apt. 17
      Maplewood, MN USA 55109
    • Bob Schacht
      ... Frank, I apologize for not remembering that you had addressed these issues. It was careless of me not to check. ... Thanks for your clarification! I think
      Message 2 of 6 , Jan 6, 2002
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        At 06:48 PM 1/6/2002 -0600, Frank McCoy wrote:

        >----- Original Message -----
        >From: "Bob Schacht" <r_schacht@...>
        >To: <crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com>
        >Sent: Saturday, January 05, 2002 9:42 PM
        >Subject: Re: [XTalk] Philonic influence?
        >
        >
        >[Bob]
        > > It is easier to see that the author of GJohn considered this to be so, than
        > > it is to demonstrate that Jesus himself believed it. There is much more
        > > evidence for the former than for the latter. If what you say is true, why
        > > was this remarkable fact passed over in silence by Mark, Matthew and Luke?
        > > Or have I failed to remember some analysis of yours that claimed that
        > > Jesus/Logos Christology is also evident in the other Gospels?
        >
        >[Frank]
        >I have made posts outlining evidence that Mark's Jesus is Philo's Logos
        >incarnate in the flesh as the Essenes' Branch of David (e.g., see the posts
        >of 7-25, 7-31, 8-2, and 8-5). In my last post to Loren, I point out
        >evidence that Jesus is Philo's Logos in the parable of the wise and foolish
        >virgins (from Matthew). I have pointed out in past posts that there is
        >evidence of a Logos christology in parts of Luke's infancy narrative....
        >The bottom line: Evidence of a Logos Christology can be found in all the
        >canonical gospel traditions and in the Thomas tradition as well. Thats a
        >lot of smoke spread through a goodly number of what might be independent
        >gospel traditions, so there's the possiblity, ISTM, of a fire, i.e., of an
        >underlying reality that the real Jesus did claim to be Philo's Logos
        >incarnate on earth.

        Frank,
        I apologize for not remembering that you had addressed these issues. It was
        careless of me not to check.


        > > >[Bob]
        > > > > But you are assuming what is to be proved. How do we really know
        > that they
        > > > > are *Philonic* ideas? It does not follow equally that if enough
        > ideas are
        > > > > *attributed* to Philonic thought, then does it really increase the
        > > > > probability that they actually were influenced by *Philonic*
        > thought (and
        > > > > not by some common tradition)?
        > > >
        >
        > > >[Frank]
        > > >I am assuming nothing. If an idea is present in Philonic thought, then it
        > > >is a Philonic idea. This is a no brainer.
        > >
        >[Bob]
        > > It is also not true. Suppose I write that I think democracy is a good
        > > thing. Does that mean that democracy is a Schacht idea? There is a big
        > > difference between an idea that crosses someone's mind, and an idea that is
        > > created by someone. The latter merits credit; the former scarcely matters.
        >
        >[Frank]
        >It's now clear to me that the term "Philonic idea" is ambigous, since you
        >and I have differing conceptualizations as to its meaning.
        >
        >Because the term "Philonic idea" is ambiguous I should not have used it in
        >past posts and I apologize to you and to the other X-talk listers for having
        >done so. In future posts, I will try to avoid this term and will try to
        >only speak of ideas held by Philo. Feel free to jump all over me if, in a
        >future post, I forget this and fall back on old ways!

        Thanks for your clarification! I think we understand each other better now.

        I would also like to take this opportunity to clarify what I meant when I wrote

        >I am sorry to point out that this is an oft-repeated tactic of
        >many crackpots, and I am loath to see you in their company. That is, they
        >propose some loony idea, and then assert that is the responsibility of
        >the *others* to prove them wrong. This is putting the shoe on the wrong
        >foot. It is *your* responsibility, not ours, to make the case that your
        >theory is stronger than rival hypotheses.

        I very much regret the tone of this statement. I did not mean to imply
        guilt by association, or that your ideas are "loony," or that you are some
        kind of crackpot. I meant only to draw attention to the tactic of claiming
        that a theory is to be assumed true until proven false, so that the "burden
        of proof," so to speak, falls not on the proposer of the theory, but on the
        proposer's audience (to disprove the claim). I appreciate the patience with
        which you marshall data in favor of your theories, even if I am reluctant
        to come to the same conclusions. And by our recent exchanges, I can see
        that you do not really appear to be claiming what I thought you were
        claiming, and appreciate your taking the time to set me straight. So
        perhaps our understanding is not as far apart as I had thought.

        Thanks,
        Bob


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