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Thank you for notifying us. The page you are attempting to access contains content that is not intended for underage readers. Paperback, Pages. Clement hears Barnabas preaching in Rome and follows him to Israel. Clement meets James Ya'aqov haTzadik. Add to Cart. Lulu Sales Rank: Log in to rate this item. His commentary on it presents many helpful insights, but one or two points invite further attention.

The Recognitions of Clement or The Nazarene Acts of the Apostles

First, the identification of the source with the "Ascents of James" of Epiphanius seems logically separate from the character of the source as Jewish-Christian. Is this Epiphanius' apocryphon? Van Voorst explains the title as a reference to the flights of stairs climbed by James to the position in the Temple from which he delivers his address. But who would derive the title of the work from such a detail? Epiphanius himself guessed that the title might refer to ascending degrees of initiation provided by degrees of esoteric teaching offered by the book.

Second, as Van Voorst notes, we find a near-miss as regards Baur's theory that Jewish Christianity gradually assimilated to Catholicism, yielding circumcision in favor of baptism. Instead, we find here a substitution of baptism for sacrifice. The Ebionites, too, had Jesus rejecting animal sacrifice, albeit via a different apologetical path. If his supposed Hegelianism led Baur into implausible contrivance, it was in this guess of a circumcision-for-baptism trade-off and the broader idea it served, a Catholic-Ebionite reconciliation.

In the same vein, it is striking that the Ascents provides a forthright reference to a doctrine of a pre-existent Christ.

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He took, it says, a Jewish body when he appeared on earth. Perhaps this is nothing new, as we already knew the Ebionites had a sort of a pre-existence Christology, but this True Prophet doctrine to be distinguished from the Ascents ' Mosaic Prophet doctrine implied adoptionism. Here, by contrast, we hear of "taking a body," but then maybe this, too, would be compatible with adoptionism: an adult body. In any event, all of the sources except the Recognitions that describe the method of execution for James agree that it was by stoning.

Hegesippus and the Second Apocalypse of James add that the stoning was preceded by the authorities first placing James on the pinnacle southeast corner of the temple and then pushing him off. They also agree that he survived the fall of some feet. Hegesippus and the Second Apocalypse do not wholly agree as to what happened next. For his part, Hegesippus merely says that James was stoned. On top of this they tramped up and down but James refused to die. The author of the Second Apocalypse of James writes as if he is familiar with Jewish rules of execution by stoning which can be found today in the Mishnah Sanhedrin 6.

According to the tractate, the first step in the stoning procedure was to push the subject off a precipice at least as high as two men, one standing atop the other. If the subject survived the fall, a large stone was then placed on his heart.

St. Paul – “Ascents of James” (Epiphanius, Pan. haer. ) | Genius

This is what ultimately happened to James. Hegesippus and the Second Apocalypse agree that James was now pelted with stones.

According to the latter source, James was first made to dig, and then stand in, a pit whereupon he was buried up to his navel before being pelted with stones. Josephus omits any details surrounding the stoning procedure, only agreeing that James was killed in this way. Hegesippus, however, denies that the stoning killed James.

James Sadler: The Oxford balloon man history forgot

So resilient did the Just One prove to be, that it took a laundryman beating James over the head with a club before he finally succumbed. Eusebius, Church History 2. For its part, the Recognitions does not specifically say that James died of his fall down the steps. The oldest portion of this section of the narrative the Ascents of James ends at 1.


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In the next sections, James is depicted as having survived though rendered lame from the fall. We cannot be certain whether this later portion of the text represents a change from the original intent of the Ascents in which James may have actually died from his fall. Josephus, in agreement with the First Apocalypse of James , tells of Jews who did not approve of the execution of such a righteous man.

Members of this group appealed to King Agrippa II, the grandson of Herod the Great and Roman-appointed ruler of a large territory northeast of Galilee as well as overseer of the Jerusalem temple with the right to appoint high priests. Initially, Agrippa did nothing.

However, the offended Jews also sent representatives to meet the newly-appointed Roman procurator, Albinus, who was by now on his way from Egypt to Judea. Hegesippus wrote that James aged 96 according to Epiphanius! Despite its mysterious origins and the years of controversy surrounding its allegedly forged nature, most scholars today accept the ossuary as genuine, a real artifact of the highly respected, ardent believer, the righteous Jew who provided leadership by example to his Christ-following brothers and sisters during the difficult days of the origin of their new sect. For that, it appears, he paid the highest price.