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Re: orion HIPPOLYTUS: THE ESSENE TEXT (fwd)
Or as foundations of later Messianic sects!? The most striking thing about this
account is how wide and varied Yahwism was at the time. And if Yahwism was so, then
it seems logical that messianic Yahwism would simply extend or supplement the
earlier sectarian beliefs that they entered into messianic beliefs with and be just
I know Robert Kraft is quite conscious of the inadequate term "Jewish Christian" as
his quotes show and from what I have seen in the past. Thinking of each of these
groups according to their own parameters of belief greatly blurs clear demarcation
between Jewish/Yahwistic/messianic/etc., etc. Perhaps Hippolytus experienced this
problem first-hand. Being "orthodox" Paulistic Christian with an increasingly clear
demarcation, he may have trouble distinguishing between those groups remaining
outside Paulism as messianic or non-messianic.
Would it be wrong to say that any number of the sects he describes could have become
or splintered to become the sects we pile up in the category of "Jewish Christian?"
I often see the blurring of Ebionitism. Elkasite or Encratite (if not other) beliefs
and practices are projected upon all Ebionite practice and belief. This seems too
simplistic. I would like to hear from a more worthy scholar (Robert Kraft, for
example) on how this account of Hippolytus helps make our conventional terms
("Jewish-Christian," or "Jewish" for examples) inaccurate, especially in speaking of
the early centuries.
With such variance the transmission and influences of ideas and practices from
Persian Zoroastrianism, and indeed any influence could come into play with these
Robert Kraft wrote:
> Has anyone investigated the possible line from some sort of early Judaism
> through Elxai to Mani on this matter. Mani's attitudes to living things
> might be understandable not only in terms of Persian backgrounds, but also
> with reference to some "Jewish Christian" scruples that might be reflected
> in Hippolytus' account.
> Robert A. Kraft, Religious Studies, University of Pennsylvania
> 227 Logan Hall (Philadelphia PA 19104-6304); tel. 215 898-5827
> Forwarded message:
> > Date: Thu, 10 Sep 1998 17:49:04 -0400
> > From: email@example.com (George Brooks)
> > I wouldn't be surprised if this belief had some source in Persian, say
> > from some part of the Magi or Zoroastrian systems. Zoroaster felt that
> > all life was so precious, he either advocated vegetarianism, or he felt
> > that there would be no meat-eating in the afterlife.
> > George Brooks (813) 886-9643
> > On Wed, 09 Sep 1998 14:43:32 -0400 "T. L. Phillips"
> > <firstname.lastname@example.org> writes:
> > >Forgive me for snipping this post to death. But reading it two points (below)
> > >from Hippolytus struck me. What are the sources of his belief that Jews
> > >believe all creation is animate with sensation? Was there really such
> > >a belief?
> > >
> > >Tim Phillips
> > >
> > >George Brooks wrote:
> > >
> > >HIPPOLYTUS OF ROME
> > >> THE REFUTATION OF ALL HERESIES
> > >> BOOK IX.
> > >
> > >[SNIP]...
> > >
> > >> ...He did create. And (they maintain) that there are angels, and
> > >that these
> > >> have been brought into being for ministering unto the creation; but
> > >also
> > >> that there is a sovereign Spirit that always
> > >> continues beside God, for glory and praise. And that all things in
> > >the
> > >> creation are endued with sensation, and that there is nothing
> > >inanimate.
> > >> ...[SNIP]...
> > >
> > >> ...END OF EXCERPT