EPISTLE OF BARNABAS (1st-mid-2nd c.) on Christ "in the flesh in/and a figure" (SOLVED)

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halibot
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EPISTLE OF BARNABAS (1st-mid-2nd c.) on Christ "in the flesh in/and a figure" (SOLVED)

Post by halibot » Mon Jun 10, 2019 7:59 pm

One of the differences among scholars is whether the Epistle of Barnabas is "Docetic", referring to those who claimed that Jesus only "seemed" to be in the flesh. Those who consider it Docetic think that Chapter 12:10-11 says that Christ was manifested in the flesh in a figure, and that he was not a son of man. My own guess is that the author only meant to draw his audience's attention to ways in which Christ was God in particular and not Man in particular (eg. when David called Christ "My Lord" in the Christian reading of Psalms).

(Question) How would you translate the parts in question below? As saying that "Jesus who was manifested, both by type and in the flesh, is not the Son of man, but the Son of God", and as saying that "David calls Him Lord and the Son of God"?

K. Lake's Greek Text of Chapter 12:10-11 says:
1̓10. ἴδε πάλιν Ἰησοῦς, οὐχὶ υἱὸς ἀνθρωπου, ἀλλὰ υἱὸς τοῦ θεοῦ, τύπῳ δὲ ἐν σαρκὶ φανερωθείς. ἐπεὶ οὖν μέλλουσιν λέγειν, ὅτι Χριστὸς υἱὸς Δαυείδ ἐστιν, αὐτὸς προφητέει Δαυείδ, φοβούμενος καὶ συνίων τὴν πλάνην τῶν ἁμαρτωλῶν· Εἶπεν κύριος τῷ κυρίῳ μου· Κάθου ἐκ δεξιῶν μου, ἕως ἂν θῶ τοὺς ἐχθρούς σου ὑποπόδιον τῶν ποδῶν σου.
11. καὶ πάλιν λέγει οὕτως Ἡσαΐας· Εἶπεν κύριος τῷ Χριστῷ μου κυρίῳ, οὗ εκράτησα τῆς δεξιᾶς αὐτοῦ, ἐπακοῦσαι ἔμπροσθεν αὐτοῦ ἔθνη, καὶ ἰσχὺν βασιλέων διαρρήξω. ἴδε, πῶς Δαυεὶδ λέγει αὐτὸν κύριον, καὶ υἱὸν οὐ λέγει.

SOURCE: http://www.ccel.org/l/lake/fathers/barnabas_b.htm
Roberts and Donaldson's translation of Chapter 12 says that Jesus "was manifested, both by type and in the flesh":
You have in this [ie. the story of the healing bronze serpent raised on Moses' staff] also [an indication of] the glory of Jesus; for in Him and to Him are all things. (Colossians 1:16)

What, again, says Moses to Jesus (Joshua) the son of Nave, when he gave him this name, as being a prophet, with this view only, that all the people might hear that the Father would reveal all things concerning His Son Jesus to the son of Nave? This name then being given him when he sent him to spy out the land, he said, "Take a book into your hands, and write what the Lord declares, that the Son of God will in the last days cut off from the roots all the house of Amalek." (Exodus 17:14)

Behold again: Jesus who was manifested, both by type and in the flesh,(1 Timothy 3:16) is not the Son of man, but the Son of God. Since, therefore, they were to say that Christ was the son of David, fearing and understanding the error of the wicked, he saith, "The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit at My right hand, until I make Thine enemies Thy footstool." And again, thus saith Isaiah, "The Lord said to Christ, my Lord, whose right hand I have holden, that the nations should yield obedience before Him; and I will break in pieces the strength of kings."(Isaiah 45:1) Behold how David calleth Him Lord and the Son of God.
The quote in 1 Timothy 3:16, referenced above, goes: "And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory."

In Roberts' and Donaldson's translation, Jesus was manifested by type and in the flesh, and it's not clear what it means that Jesus who was manifested "is not the Son of man." Also in their translation, David calls Christ Lord and the Son of God.

Jesus manifested without being "the Son of man" could mean that (A) there were ways and times in which Jesus appeared or was "manifested" to people in his divine nature (ie. "godliness") in His status as God, rather than in his status as a man. Or it could mean that (B) Jesus was not a first generation physical offspring/son of a male (eg. He was not literally "Jesus Bar Joseph"). Or it could mean that (C) Jesus was not really a human (ie. Docetism). But I doubt that the author meant (C).

Loeb's Classics book has the Greek text on the left and Kirsopp Lake's translation on the right (https://archive.org/details/theapostoli ... t/page/386). Kirsopp Lake translates the statements in question as: "See again Jesus, not as son of man, but as Son of God, but manifested in a type in the flesh." And as: "See how 'David calls him Lord' and does not say Son." So Lake's translation suggests option (A) above. In his translation, the author draws the audience's attention to see Jesus "not as a son of man", but doesn't actually deny that Jesus was a son of man. Also, in this translation, Jesus was manifested "in a type in the flesh".

S.V. Krasikov translates the first statement as saying that Jesus for the author is "not the son of man, but the son of God, manifested figuratively in the flesh". Krasikov concludes that the author, as is characteristic of Gnosticism, denies Christ's human nature. Krasikov's words in Russian about the author, citing the Greek, are:
Он подчеркивает, что Христос является Сыном Божиим (7. 9), и, что характерно для гностицизма, отрицает человеческую природу Христа. Иисус для него «не сын человеческий, но Сын Божий, явленный прообразно во плоти» (τύπῳ δὲ ἐν σαρκὶ φανερωθείς - 12. 9b[10])
Krasikov also says that the Epistle claims that Jesus was not a son of David in Chp. 12, and he says that this contradicts Paul in Romans 1:3. So Krasikov's view of the text is what I listed as (C) earlier.

However, I don't think that the author was actually Gnostic or Docetic, because of what I found in Chapters 5 and 7 of this Epistle. Plus, I understand that this is basically a translation forum, rather than one for theological debates. So my question is basically about the translation.
Last edited by halibot on Wed Jun 12, 2019 5:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: EPISTLE OF BARNABAS (1st-mid-2nd c.) on Christ "in the flesh in/and a figure"

Post by Barry Hofstetter » Mon Jun 10, 2019 9:15 pm

I'm not sure you can argue Docetism from the language of the text here, particularly since τύπῳ is qualified by ἐν σαρκί. I think it's rather in this sense:
BDAG wrote:② embodiment of characteristics or function of a model, copy, image (cp. Artem. 2, 85 the children are τύπ. of their parents.—Cp. ὁ γὰρ ἥλιος ἐν τύπῳ θεοῦ ἐστιν Theoph. Ant. 2, 15 [p. 138, 8]) the master is a τύπος θεοῦ image of God to the slave B 19:7; D 4:11. The supervisor/bishop is τύπος τοῦ πατρός ITr 3:1; cp. IMg 6:1ab (in both instances here, τύπον is Zahn’s conjecture, favored by Lghtf., for τόπον, which is unanimously read by Gk. and Lat. mss., and which can be retained, with Funk, Hilgenfeld, Krüger, Bihlmeyer).
Arndt, W., Danker, F. W., Bauer, W., & Gingrich, F. W. (2000). A Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament and other early Christian literature (3rd ed., p. 1020). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

But the theology of the apostolic fathers is not all that well defined, so it could be otherwise.
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Re: EPISTLE OF BARNABAS (1st-mid-2nd c.) on Christ "in the flesh in/and a figure"

Post by halibot » Wed Jun 12, 2019 5:22 pm

Barry Hofstetter wrote:
Mon Jun 10, 2019 9:15 pm
I'm not sure you can argue Docetism from the language of the text here, particularly since τύπῳ is qualified by ἐν σαρκί. I think it's rather in this sense:
BDAG wrote:② embodiment of characteristics or function of a model, copy, image
But the theology of the apostolic fathers is not all that well defined, so it could be otherwise.
This is a helpful observation, Barry.

I found an interlinear Epistle of Barnabas, which answers my question with help from your dictionary:
Ἴδε πάλιν Ἰησοῦς, οὐχὶ υἱὸς ἀνθρώπου, ἀλλὰ Υἱὸς τοῦ Θεοῦ, τύπῳ δὲ ἐν
See again Jesus, not a son of man, but Son of the God, a figure but in

σαρκὶ φανερωθείς.
flesh having been revealed.
SOURCE: http://www.embarl.force9.co.uk/Other/Barnabas.pdf
"See again Jesus, having been revealed: not a son of man, but Son of God, a figure/model/form, but in the flesh.

I take the ending of the sentence to mean that God appeared in a form in the flesh. That is, God chose to take a fleshly form.

The end of the paragraph goes:
Ἴδε, πῶς Δαυεὶδ λέγει αὐτὸν Κύριον, καὶ υἱὸν οὐ
See, David calls Him Lord, and son not

λέγει.
he says
ie. See, David calls Him Lord, and doesn't say son.

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Re: EPISTLE OF BARNABAS (1st-mid-2nd c.) on Christ "in the flesh in/and a figure" (SOLVED)

Post by jeidsath » Thu Jun 13, 2019 3:27 pm

"a figure but in flesh"

No. τύπῳ is dative, not nominative. You're going to have to learn some Greek if you want to tackle these questions.
Joel Eidsath -- jeidsath@gmail.com

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