Last updated 03/17/03
"A meeting between Silvester and the Jewish Christian (sic) leaders took place in 318....The vital interview was not, as far as we know, recorded, but the issues were very well known, and it is probable the Joses, the oldest of the Christian Jews (sic), spoke on behalf of the desposyni and the rest.
That most hallowed name, desposyni, had been respected by all believers in the first century and a half of Christian history. The word literally meant, in Greek, "belonging to the Lord." It was reserved uniquely for Jesus' blood relatives. Every part of the ancient Jewish Christian church had always been governed by a desposynos, and each of them carried one of the names traditional in Jesus' family---Zachary, Joseph, John, James, Joses, Simeon, Matthias, and so on. But no one was ever called Jesus. Neither Silvester nor any of the thirty-two popes before him, nor those succeeding him, ever emphasized that there were at least three well-known and authentic lines of legitimate blood descent from Jesus' own family. One from Joachim and Anna, Jesus' maternal grandparents. One from Elizabeth, first cousin of Jesus' mother, Mary, and Elizabeth's husband, Zachary. And one from Cleophas and his wife, who also was a first cousin of Mary.
There were, of course, numerous blood descendants of Joseph, Mary's husband, but only those persons in bloodline with Jesus through his mother qualified as desposyni...."
This passage, of course, reflects the Catholic view that
Miryam and Yosef had no children. So while Martin exposes the Catholic church, he still
promotes its mythology and the myth of some continuity between Paulistic religon and
Messianic Yahwism. The desposyni were soon to be dispossessed by Silvester who
had his authority from Emperor so much responsible for Christianity as it is today,
"Ever since the Emperor Hadrian had conquered Jerusalem in the year 135, all Jews, and that included Jewish Christians, had been forbidden to enter Jerusalem under pain of instant death...."
Gentile Christians then had Jerusalem, that is Aelia
Capitolina, as their own.
"They therefore asked Silvester to revoke his confirmation of Greek Christian bishops in Jerusalem, in Antioch, in Ephesus, in Alexandria, and to name instead desposynos bishops...."
Rome fully ruled these areas and Silvester was given
authority in religious enforcement.
"Silvester curtly and decisively dismissed the claims of the Jewish Christians. He told them that the mother church was now in Rome, with the bones of the Apostle Peter, and he insisted that they accept Greek bishops to lead them.
It was the last known discussion between the Jewish Christians of the old mother church and the non-Jewish Christians of the new mother church. By his adaptation, Silvester, backed by Constantine, had decided that the message of Jesus was to be couched in Western terms by Western minds on an imperial model.
The Jewish Christians had no place in such a church structure. They managed to survive until the first decades of the fifth century. Then, one by one, they disappear.... But most of them die---by the sword (Roman garrisons hunted them as outlaws), by starvation (they were deprived of their small farms and could not or would not adapt themselves to life in the big cities), by the attrition of zero birthrate....The desposyni have ceased to exist. Everywhere, the Roman pope commands respect and exercises authority."
Constantine and his lackey, Silvester, were justly rewarded for their evil.
"...within twenty years of Silvester's death, the Roman legions were defending Constantinople, which Constantine had only finished building. The mortar was still wet....Constantine's dynasty lasted sixty years, during most of which time he was busy repelling Goths, Franks, and Alemanni from the borders of the empire. (All the effort he put into building Constantinople didn't help much.) After his death in 337, his three sons succeeded him. The last of these, Constantius, died in 361. By the time of Emperor Gratian's death (383), the Balkans had been ceded to the Goths. By 405, the Romans had evacuated Britain. Soon Spain fell to the Vandals. In August of 410, Rome itself was plundered by the Goths under Alaric."
The sweetest part of this justice is that many of these
"barbarians" were Arian Christians! Arians denied the divinity of
"One of the most important and most frequently discussed subjects in Dead Sea Scroll eschatology is the messianic belief. Unfortunately, the term "messiah" has become quite indefinite, and we find included in the discussion messianic forerunners, eschatological personalities, and sometimes even a person who has none other than a priestly office.
"...The following terms may help in this respect:
The soteriological hope: the constant hope of the Lord's redemptive activity in the various phases of history;
The eschatological hope: the hope of a final intervention by which the Kingdom of God is established;
The messianic hope: the expectation of a specific person, the "Anointed" (or "Messiah") of the Lord, who is to serve as the ideal King.
[-quoting J. Coppens, L'Attente du Messie. Paris:Desclée de Brouwer, 1954. pp. 35-38.]
"...Where does Qumran eschatology fit into this complex development?...
"A number of schoars find two Messiahs in the Qumran texts: the Messiah of Israel, or Davidic Messiah, which is the familar messianic figure, and a Messiah of Aaron, or priestly Messiah, who seems to have the priority over the Davidic Messiah.
"The theory was advanced when the Zadokite Fragments---now the Damascus Document--- were first published, and with the discovery of the Manual of Discipline among the Dead Sea Scrolls, the theory was repeated with a new emphasis. The basis of the Damascus Document had been the expression "the Messiah of Aaron and Israel," which certain scholars emended to read, "the Messiahs of Aaron and Israel." When the Manual of Discipline was published, the expression, "the Messiahs (sic) of Aaron and Israel" was found (1QS 9:11), confirming (so scholars concluded) the emendation that had long ago been suggested for the Damascus Document. The "Messiah of Aaron," according to this view, was the priestly Messiah, and the "Messiah of Israel" was the lay (or Davidic) Messiah....
"...So we come back to the expression "the Messiahs of Aaron and Israel." The expression "the Messiah of Aaron" has not been found in the Qumran texts. The expression "the Messiahs of Aaron and Israel" has been found in only one place, 1QS 9:11. It can be found in the Damascus Document (three times) only by emending the text. These facts must now be placed beside additional facts.
"A fragment of the Damascus Document from Cave Four (4QDb=CD 14:19) clearly reads in the singular, "the Messiah of Aaron and Israel," exactly as the Cairo exemplar.
[Which, acording to LaSor, rules out emendation]
"....There is, in my opinion, no sufficient basis to find a "Messiah of Aaron," or priestly Messiah, in the Dead Sea Scrolls."
Three gods (Trinity)
Grant, Robert M. Gods and the One God. Library of early Christianity: 1, ed. Wayne Meeks. Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1986.
Speaking of the Arian Controversy and the incomprehensibility of a trinity...p.160ff.
"Before Nicaea, Christian theology was almost universally subordinationist. Theology almost universally taught that the Son was subordinate to the Father, but Arius expressed this kind of Christology in a provocative way....We need not enter into all the theological details or even the political ones. It is important, however, to note that the bishops who met at Antioch in the winter of 324-325 issued a creed in which they already rejected Arius' Christology. Both Antioch and Nicaea used the creeds for the first time as doctrinal tests. Kelly quotes C.H. Turner: "The old creeds were for catechumens, the new creed was a creed for bishops."
At Antioch the majority insisted (several times) that the Son was begotten from the Father and that the mode of the generation was incomprehensible."
The Platonic Trinity, p.153.
A Platonic anticipation or parallel of Christian belief can be found in the influential theology of Numenius, the most prominent Platonistand Pythagorean of the second century. His date is often set in the late second century, but if taught around 150---as is quite possible---he could have influenced Justin [Martyr], especially since he probably taught at Rome. Numenius was the source of muchof Plotinus' thought, according to ancient critics, but the Christian authors Clement and Origen knew him as well. He evidently influenced both Neoplatonism and Christianity.
In his thought, there is a combination of monotheism and polytheism, of the one and the many, which is quite similar to what we find among Christians. Numenius reserved the term, "good in himself (autoagathos)" for the supreme First God, who does not create but is the Father of the Second God, the Demiurge or creator. The First is Father, the Second Creator (poiëtes), and the Third what is created (poiëma). "The First God is at rest, while the Second , on the contrary, is in motion; the First is concerned with the intelligible realm, the Second with both the intelligible and sensible....In place of the motion inherent in the Second, I declare that the stability (stasis) inherent in the First is an innate motion, from which derives the order of the cosmos and its eternal permanence, and preservation is poured forth upon all things." p.153.
Numenius was a polytheist and remained so.
In the second century the most prominent advocates of triadic doctrine were the Neopythagoreans and the Middle Platonists....Plato found the soul of the universe like a chi (the cross) in the universe (Timaeus 36BC). This world soul was the Logos, said Justin, and Plato ascribed the place after the first God to it, as well as the third place to the Spirit, which in Genesis was said to be borne above the waters. All this was supposedly indicated in a bit of mystification in the so-called Second Epistle of Plato (312E) which was much admired by Platonists and early Christians. p.152.
In later Christian iconography, such a chi-cross imposed on an orb or globe, was placed in the hand of "Jesus" or Christian Kings, in the same manner used in conjunction with Aion, the lion-headed mystery god. The symbology is Platonic in both instances.