Wilken Judaism and the Early Christian Mind 1971
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JUDAISMANDTHE EARLYCHRISTIANMINDA Study of Cyril of Alexandria'sExegesis and Theologyby Robett L. WilkenNEW HAVEN AND LONDONYale University PressI1INmTUTUM PATRISTICUM AUGUSTINIANUM19718 I B L lOT ECAs. MONICAROMAYale PublicationsinReligioD, 15Publishedwithassistancefromthefoundationestablishedmmemory of WilliamMcKeanBrown.Copyright 1971by Yale University.Allrightsreserved. Thisbookmaynot bereproduced, Inwhole or in part, In any form(except byreviewersforthepublicpress),WIthout written permission fromthepublishers.LIbrary of Congress catalog cardnumber: 74-140541International standardbook number: 0-300-01383-3DeSIgnedby JohnO. C. McCnllisandset inGranjontype.Prmtedin the UnitedStatesof AmericabyThe Vail-BallouPress, Binghamton, NewYork.DIstributed inGreat Britain, Europe, and Mricaby \Yale University Press, Ltd., London; inCanadabyMcGIll-Queen's University Press,Montreal; inMexicobyCentro Interamericano deLibros Academieos,MeXICO City; inCentral andSouthAmericabyKaiman&Polon,Inc., NewYorkCIty; inAustralasiabyAustraliaandNewZealandBook Co., Pty., Ltd.,Artarmon, New South Wales; inIndtabyUBSPublishers' DistnbutorsPvt., Ltd., Ddhi;in Japanby JohnWeatherhill, Inc., Tokyo.bTo My Father and Moth".ouis and c...Mabel.In RememMmce of the Happy Day'"""'YfMllJ\ dJ01]] to its ancient condition [;6, " 35apxawv .The firstman, being earthly andof the earth. . was caughtbybitter guile, andhavinginclinedtodisobedience, falls to34. P1 :182-3.35. P 1:183,28-184,18. For Christ as the second original man, see J.-C.Dhotel, "La'sanctification' duChrist d'apres H6breux11,1I;' p. 529.THE SECOND ADAM: II135the earth, themother fromwhence hesprang, and since hewas overcome at that time by corruption and death, t r a n s ~mits thepenaltytohis wholerace. Whenevil increasedandmultipliedinus, andour understandinggraduallydescendedtothe worse, sin reigned, and thus at length the natureofmanwasshowntobedenudedof theHolySpirit whodweltin him. . . . Therefore, since the first Adampreserved notthegracegiventohimbyGod, GodtheFather was mindedto sendusfromheaventhe second Adam.For hesendsin ourlikeness his ownsonwho is bynature without alterationorchangeandnot knowingsininanyway, that as bythedis-obedienceofthenrst we becamesubject todivinewrath, sothroughthe obedienceof thesecond, wemight bothescapethecurse andtheevilsfromit might cometonought.Wearecaught upinthefamiliar languageandimageryoftheAdam-Christ typology.Ifthecorruptionof mankindcameaboutthroughtheinitialsinofAdamandfromhimspreadtoall men,there must beanother manwhocanhave a similar relationshipto mankind but who will engender newconsequences. But theone who comes must not be an ordinary man; he must be onewhowill notrepeat what thefirst Adamdidandwhowill "pre-serve thespirit of our nature, and again inroot inus the gracewhichhad left us." TheSpirit had fled fromhumanity becauseit could not bear to dwell amidst suchcorruption; nowanotherman appears amongmen and makes possible the return of theSpirit, for thismanis without sin. "He [theson] becameasonefromus, one whodidnot knowsin, that theSpirit mightbecomeaccustomed [7TpoO'Bw-Bi}] toabidein us, not havingan occasionofdepartureor withdrawal inhim."36Thesecondoriginal manmakes possible a new beginning forthe race of men.Cyril's expositionofthebaptismof Jesuscentersalmost whollyonthe descent of the Spirit.37Cyril does not evengive passing36. P1:184,23-29.37. Theodore of Mopsuestia sees the SpIrit descending on Jesus to unitehimWith the Word (In /0. 1:34, Voste, J.-M. ed., Theodori MopsuesteniCommentarius, p. 33; In /0. 3:29, Voste, p. 57). For Chrysostomthe Spiritcomes "only to proclaimChrIst," for he was not inneed of the Spirit (PG59:19).I I, IIJUDAISMAND THE EARLY CHRISTIAN MINDattention to the baptismitself or to the problems it raised forearlier writers. The baptismof Jesus has been reduced to thisoneconsideration; howcouldJesus receivethe Spirit? ElsewhereinthecommentaryCyril discusses the descent of the Spirit andamplifieshis remarks. Thetext is John7:39. "Hesaidthis aboutthe Spirit, whichthosewhobelievedinhimweretoreceive; foras yet the Spirit had not beengiven, because Jesus was not yetglorified." Commenting on the verse Cyril again rehearses thecreationandfall ofman, andtheeventual loss oftheSpirit. Godwished to "recapitulate all things in Christ" and to "restore[ (WaKop..[aat] humannatureagaintoits ancient state," heprom-isestogiveittheHolySpiritagain, forinnowaycouldit return[ava8pajLEtv] to the "unshakenstate [aKAoV7JToV rTTo'rTW] of goodthings."InChristGod"begantogive againtheSpirit, andChristfirst receivedtheSpirit as afirst fruit of therenewednature."38Here Cyril repeats himself but he adds a newnote, namely-that Christ isthefirst oneamongmentobepart of therenewednature. Intheprevious passage he was saidtobethe beginningand the way, but here he is the first and the firstfruits. As thefirst heleads thewayfor all humannaturewhichwas unitedinhim. And because our nature was in himhe "restored it andtransformedit toitsancient condition."Christ receives theSpiritthat the goodthingsof the Spirit mightflowthroughhiminto us.For"since our fatherAdam ...didnot preservethegrace of theSpirit, andthusinhimthewhole naturelost at last the God-givengoods, the Wordof God . . . becameman, inorder that by ceiving [it] as man he might preserve the good permanentlytoour nature." Thesonbecame manthat thegood things of Godmight bepreserved "securely" to our whole human nature. Theson gave mankindthe "stability"whichwasnot forthcoming fromanyother man including Adam. "The divine Scriptures call theSavior the second Adam. For in that first one, the humanraceproceeds fromnot being to being; ...in the second, Christ, itrisesupagaintoasecondbeginning, reformed [aVarTKrua'ojLfvOY]tonewness oflifeandtoareturn of incorruption,forif anyone is in Christ,heisa newcreature, asPaul says. ThereTHE SECOND ADAM: IIhas therefore been given tous the renewing Spirit, that is, theHoly [Spirit], the occasionof eternal lifeafter Christ was glori-fied-that is, aftertheresurrection-whenhavingburst thebonds ...of deathand appearedsuperior toall corruption, helivedagainhaving our whole nature inhim, in that he was manand onefrom us."39Cyril ends his discussion of the Spirit and Christ with twofurther comments. Hefirst makes clear that it is theresurrectionwhichstands out as the central event in the life of Christ. TheSpirit nowreturns to mankind because Christ has broken theholdofsinanddeathwhichbeganwithAdam. This is thenewthing which distinguishes Christ from other men. "Why wasthe Spirit not poured out before the resurrection?" Only thendid "Christ become the firstfruits of the renewed nature, whentakingno account of the bonds of death hecametolifeagain.. . . How could those who came after it [the first fruit] bequickened before the first fruit? For as theplant will not shootup fromthe earth unless it is surely sprungfromits own root(for there is the beginningof its growth), soit was impossiblethat we who have as our root for incorruption the Lord JesusChrist should be seen springing up before our root. . . . Withthe descent of the Spirit the time of renewal [avuvE:wO'E:w,>] is atthe doors, yea within the doors....The Spirit whofled awayfromhumannature, theonewhocangatherandformus inthedivine image, this one the Savior gives us anewand returns usto our ancient condition and reforms us to his own image."Finallyheraises thequestionofthepresenceoftheSpirit intheOld Testament, specifically among the prophets. He grants thatthe Spirit did dwell among the prophets, but says that there isno real comparison between the prophets and Christ. For hedwelt in the prophets "that they might prophecy" but nowhedwells inChrist that hemaydwell inall mankindandthat menmay participate in the "good things fromGod." In Christ wenowpossess the "full and complete indwelling in men of theHoly Spirit."4039 Ibid., pp. 692 -94.40. Ibid., pp. 695-96. SeeWalter Burghardt, Image, pp. 115 ff. Cyril dis-tinguishes between"Illumination" (lXXa.p.t/Jts) and"completeandperfect in-JUDAISMAND THE EARLY CHRISTIAN MINDTheAdam-Christ typologyisalsousedtointerpret thedescentof theSpirit inCyril'scommentariesontheOldTestament wherehe discusses the baptismof Jesus.41Isaiah II: 1-3 reads: "Thereshall comeforth ashoot fromthestumpof Jesse, anda branchshall growout ofhis roots. AndtheSpirit of theLordshall restuponhim, thespirit of wisdomand understanding, the spirit ofcounsel and might, thespirit of knowledge andthe fear of theLord. And his delight shall be in the fear of the Lord." Cyriltakesthepassage torefertoChrist. Theprophet herecalls Christthe shoot which carnes fromthe root of Jesse, says Cyril. Weshouldtakethis torefertothesonofGodwhobecameflesh. Healso calls Christ a branch to indicate that "human nature shotup in himto incorruption and life and to the newness of theevangelical way of life."42Since hehastakenthepassage Christo-logically Cyril now faces the same problem he faced in hisexposition of John 1. The prophet, says Cyril, does not present ~to us a Jesus whois a "mere man" [J. vBpw7roV l/J[AoJl] who hasbecome a "bearer of the spirit" [7rVvp.,aTo6poJl] and by this asharer indivinegraces; rather hespeaks clearlyof the"wordofGod incarnate," full of goodthingsyet makinghisownthe thingsof humanity. But howcanhebesaidtoreceivetheSpirit at hisbaptism? Howcan he be both the giver and receiver of thedwelling" (Ka:tolKTjI1S). The latter comes only with the resurrection andfull adoption by the Spirit. "The gift of adoption was conferred only aftertheresurrectionofChrist." SeealsoL. Janssens, "Notrefiliationdivine d'apressaint Cynlle d'Alexandrie,"pp. 253 fl. See ch. 7, no51.41. Note Cyril's comments on the baptismof Jesus in the Homilies onLuke. "The Spirit also came down again as on the second firstfruits of ourrace; and upon Christ first, who receives it not so much for his own sakeas for ours; for by himand in himwe are enriched with all things." "Hehas been made our firstfruits, and firstborn, and second Adam: for whichreason it is said that 'in himall things have become new,' for we haveput off the oldness that was in Adamand gained the newness that is inChrist" (PG72:524b-525a). In Is. 11:1-3 (PG70:312d). See alsoPulch. 28(ACO1:1,5,p. 45).42. Cyril uses the termava8&.x'x'w. It is used frequently to designate thenewbeginning through the resurrection. "In Christ human nature blossomsforth again to what it was inthe beginning" (Glaph., PG69:421a; see alsoInRom. 5:15, P3:184, 18). For thephrase"not amereman" seeChap. 10.THE SECOND ADAM: II139Spirit? "[The Spirit1 was given in the beginning to the nrstfruit of our race, Adam, but he [Adam] became careless aboutkeeping the commandment given to him ...and he fell into _sin and the spirit found no rest [ava7ravaw] in men. 'All haveturnedaside, together theyhavegonewrong; noonedoes good,not evenone' (Rom. 3:12). Thenamanwas made, theonlysonof God . . . who, though like us, was impregnabletosin, andthus theHolySpirit restedonhumannature, inhimat first,asa second firstfruitsof the racethat he[the Spirit] mightrest onus for goodanddwell intheminds ofbelievers....Aswebecameco-heirs oftheevil things whichhappenedtotheoneformed at first, thus wewill besharers of the things whichareeconomically in the second firstfruits of our race-that is,Christ."43The descent of the Spirit ispicturedhere, asintheCommentaryonJohn, as thetimewhenthehumanraceagainhas theoppor-tunity for a newbeginning, for a newman has appeared whopromises to turn back what Adam had done and accomplishwhat none sincethe timeof Adamwas capable of doing. Cyrilis more explicit here than in the Commentary on John, for hemakes clear that the distinguishing mark of the second Adamisthat heisGod'sson. Heis notanordinaryman, amansimplybearingthespirit, but heis the"wordof Godbecomeman." Inhimappeared a man who was "impregnable to sin" and whowouldnot fall likeAdam. CommentingonJoel 2:28, Cyril saysthe same thing in somewhat different terms. With the descentof the Spirit on Christ the work of renewal had its beginning,for in Adamthe "gracegiven to man came tonothing, but inChrist it was renewed for he is the second Adam." The Spirit"did not remain with human nature" when he descended onAdam, but now that there is a second Adam "the Spirit re-maineduponhim"andnow"hedwells inussteadfastlyandforgood" (AOt7rOVHe departed fromthe first Adam, butnowthereis a"secondnrstfruits ofourrace, Christ, andfor thisreasonheiscalledthesecondAdamthroughwhomwearetrans-, '140 JUDAISMAND THE EARLY CHRISTIAN MINDformed [aVCTTOLXttJp,dJa) towhat is incomparablybetter, andWegainarebirththroughtheSpirit, nolonger havingthefirst, thataccording to the flesh, that in corruption and sin ... but thesecondfrom above, that from God through the Spirit." 44Cyril's interpretation of the baptismof Jesus and the descentof theSpirit bringstogetherthevariousideasandmotifs wehavebeen discussing. It is one of the most complete and thorough-going interpretations of the baptismof Jesus in the patristicChurch. He is quite sensitive to the theological problemraisedbyJesus' baptism, yet he is alsoattunedto the exegetical issues.Exegesis and theology blend in his treatment of the problem.Cyril's uniquecontributionrisesout ofhis owntheological pointof view. In baptismJesus emerges as the second original manwhomakesitpossible for theSpirit toreturnagaintomankind.45Hedoes this throughtheresurrectionfromthedead, and byhisresurrectionheopens upanewwayfor mankindwhichhadnotbeen known before. In himthere is a newcreation. Christ be-comes a new root which gives life to the new plant. Adambrought menintosinandcausedtheSpirit todepart, and noneoftheprophetswerecapableof recallingtheSpirit for mankind,The Spirit dwells inthe prophets, but he was not there in hisfulness or completely. Only through Christ, the second Adam,does the Spirit find another introduction to mankind.Ina number of places Cyril hints at the rationale underlyinghis argument. He says for example that whentheSpirit returnsinthesecondAdamhe will not have"anoccasionof departureor withdrawal inhim." The Spirit nowreturns to man "perma-nently" andChrist gives mankindthe"stability" whichwas notachieved through another man. Furthermore, Christ is the first44. InJoel. 2:28-2 9 (P1:336-39).45. Durand, contrasting Cyril and Irenaeus, writes: "Chez Cyrille eneffet, il s'agit d'un nouveau depart azero, d'un total recommencement; eta cepropos il se permet des elans poetiques, insolites chez lui, sur Ie secondprintemps de l'Humanite. Le Christ est notre deuxieme chance, et certescette chance est plus bnllante que la premiere, en ce sens que les biensrecuperes appartiennent a notre 'deuxieme racme' de maniere incomparable-ment plus stable et naturelle qu'ils n'etaient concedesa la premiere, la suitene l'a que trop montre, L'Esprit repose sur Ie Fils sans qu'il puisse jamaisavoir aIequitter" (pp. 90-9 I).THE SECOND ADAM: IIwhodidnot knowsinandis "superior tocorruption." 46 All ofthese expressions are ways by whichCyr...