網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版

72

had pneumatic experiences; but he did not confine the activity of the divine Spirit to this kind of phenomena; it had for him a broader and more cosmic function.7 He was also like them a believer in angels and in their ability to assume human form;73 but he believed also in such Greek beings as the seminal Logoi of the Stoics, the powers of the ethereal regions, and the archetypal ideas of Platonism.74 He departed most however from them in his doctrine of the Logos and it is with this that we are here particularly concerned.

He calls the Logos the image of God,75 the elder son or first-born,76 the eternal Word," the seal and interpreter of God,78 the highpriest of the universe,79 the vicegerent of God, so the fountain or source of wisdom;81 in fact in several places he even uses the title, beós, or the adjective, Beios, when speaking of the Logos, implying thereby that the Logos was of the same quality or essence as God, not that he was necessarily a person on an equality with Him.82 The process of hypostatization seems practically complete here. Furthermore the Lo gos was the agent of God in creation, and constituted the pattern or archetype of all created things.83 He performed the function of delivering to men the revelation of God.84 The two main ideas of Philo th en with regard to

a

the mind that is in us is removed from its place at the arrival of the divine Spirit, but is again restored to its previous habitation when that Spirit departs, for it is contrary to holy law for what is mortal to dwell with what is immortal” (Quis Rer. Div. 52, 53). "Sometimes having come empty (i. e. to his work of composition) I suddenly became full, ideas being invisibly showered upon me and planted from above, so that by a divine possession I was filled with enthusiasm, and was absolutely ignorant of the place, of those present, of myself, of what was said, of what was written; for I had a stream of interpretation, an enjoyment of light, a most keen-sighted vision, a most distinct view of the subjects treated, such as would be given through the eyes from the clearest exhibition (of some object)” (Migrat. Abr. 7).

72 See passages cited under note 68.
73 De Abram. 22; De Gigan. 2.
74 Opif. Mund. 5, 6, 24; De Somn. I, 21.
75 Opif. Mund. 41; Monarch. 5; Confus. Ling. 20; Profug. 19; Somn. I, 41.

Quod Deus Immut. 6; Confus. Ling. 14, 28; Agric. Noe 12; Somn. I, 37.
77 Plant. Noe 5.
78 Plant. Noe 5; Leg. Alleg. 73.
79 Somn. I, 37; Profug. 20.
80 Agric. Noe 12; Somn. I, 39.
81 Profug. 18.
82 Leg. Alleg. 73; Somn. I, 39.
63 Leg. Alleg. 31; Migr. Abr. 1; Cherub. 35; Opif. Mund. 5, 6; et al.
84 Quis Rer. Div. 42, et al.

76

the Logos were that he was the expression of God's activity in creation and the rational principle in the universe and in man on the one hand, and the Mediator between God and man and the agent of salvation on the other.

Philo's conception is clearly syncretistic. He unites the Stoic doctrine of the Logos as the active or rational principle in the world with the Platonic. idea of the supersensual images and patterns of visible things. He is doubtless influenced on the other hand by the Jewish conception of Wisdom and of the Spirit as well as by the Oriental and Gnostic notion of the Deity sending down to the earth His son or vicegerent in order to deliver and save men from contact with the world.

When we turn to the Wisdom of Solomon, we find that what we have learned concerning Philo's doctrine of the Logos, could almost equally well be said of Wisdom. Wisdom is the medium through which God creates the world and reveals Himself. She emanates from God, is immanent in the world, decides upon the destinies of the nations, and becomes the moral and religious guide for men. In fact, in one passage

85 the Logos and Wisdom are practically identified. Perhaps the rational element is not so prominent in Wisdom as in Philo's Logos, the Greek influence not so strong, and the process of hypostatization not quite so complete, and yet the remarkable similarity between the two conceptions is very striking to say the least.

Nor are the conceptions of the Logos and of Wisdom in the minds of these writers to be thought of as being essentially different from that of the Spirit. So far as their essential constitution and their functions are concerned, they are practically identical. And in their relation to God and to the universe very little distinction can be drawn between them.87 The use of these three terms to denote practically the same thing and to express practically the same thought is due perhaps to the fact that the syncretistic elements in these writings were not consistently coördinated as well as to the fact that an irenic purpose could thus be served: the writers by using these terms and thought-forms could make themselves better understood by the persons whom they addressed.

86 Wis. 9:9; 8:7, 8; 7:22, 24, et al. The passage in 7:25-27 is worth quoting here: “For she is the breath of the power of God, and a pure effulgence of the glory of the Almighty; therefore can nothing defiled enter into her. For she is an effulgence from everlasting light, and an unspotted mirror of the working of God, and an image of His goodness. And in that she is one she hath power to do all things; and remaining in herself, reneweth all things; and in all ages entering into Holy souls she maketh them friends of God and prophets."

86 Wis. 9:1, 2.

87 For references on the identification of the Spirit and Wisdom see Wis. 1:4-7; 7:7, 22, 23; 9:17; 12:1, 2; and Philo, Gigan. 5, 11; Quaes. in Gen. I, 90. For passages showing the similarity between the Spirit and the Logos see Philo, Quod Det. Pot. 22, 23; Opif. Mund. 46; Leg. Alleg. I, 13; Plant. Noe 5; and Volz, op. cit., p. 187.

These concepts of the Logos, Wisdom and the Spirit served a practical religious need for the people of that age. For the Hellenistic Jews, and particularly for those of their number who were inclined toward philosophical speculation they would serve the same purpose as the idea of the Messiah served for those interested in Apocalypticism, at least so far as the longing for individual redemption was concerned. And among the Gentiles in general there was a widespread feeling that there was need of a mediator between man and the Deity, a revealer of divine gnosis, who should come down from heaven to release the imprisoned soul and give it sufficient knowledge to enable it to return safely to heaven, its original home. The legends in nearly all the Oriental religions of gods or sons of gods who come down from heaven to earth to contend with hostile beings or with the evil forces of nature in order to aid man in his imprisoned condition confirm the truth of this statement.

Josephus, though a Hellenistic Jew, adds very little to our knowledge of the conceptions which the Jews of the Dispersion held regarding spirits. In the main he held to ideas that were also current in Palestine. He believed in angels and identified the Angel of Jehovah with Jehovah Himself.88 He recommends exorcism of demons as a sanative measure and describes how Solomon invented the science.89 He regarded prophecy as the gift of the Spirit and claims that this was one of the gifts of the high-priest.90 He interpreted his own statement made to Vespasian when he surrendered to the Romans, viz., that Vespasian would become Emperor of Rome, as a prophecy uttered in a state of ecstasy.91 It was at least the means of saving his life and might well be regarded as an inspiration. He regarded the Old Testament books as divinely inspired and the Law as having been delivered by angels.92 But there are several indications on the other hand that he was somewhat influenced by Roman ideas and customs as well. When he has Aristobulus say that his soul ought to die to appease the ghosts of his brother and mother whom he had murdered, 93 he doubtless shows an influence of the Roman custom of manes-worship upon his mind. There is also a Roman touch in the statement which he has Herod make regarding the good Genius that was ever present at the elbow of his son Alexander. 94 In the speech of Titus to his soldiers in which he says: “For who is there who does not know, that those souls of virtuous men which are severed from their fleshly bodies in battles by the sword, are received by the ether, that purest of elements, and placed among the stars; that they become good demons and propitious heroes, and show themselves as such to their posterity afterwards?"95 we are unable to tell whether Josephus is putting a speech into the mouth of Titus or whether the words were actually uttered as stated. In any case it reveals Josephus' acquaintance with Greek and Roman conceptions.

88 Ant. IV, 6, 2; V, 8, 3.
89 Ant. VIII, 2, 5; XIII, 16, 2; Wars VII, 6, 3; 9, 1.

90 Ant. IV, 6, 5; 8, 49; V, 8, 4; VI, 4, 1; 8, 2; VII, 4, 1, X, 11, 3; XIII, 10, 7; Wars I, 2, 8; Apion I, 8.

91 Wars III, 8, 3; 8, 9.
92 Ant. XIII, 15, 3; Apion I, 8.

These then are the main features that differentiate the Hellenistic from the Palestinian Jews with respect to their belief in spirits: the introduction of cosmological speculation into the Apocalyptic program and the assigning of a cosmic function to the Spirit, a broader view of the inspiration of the Scriptures, a more transcendent conception of God and a more complete hypostatization of a mediating agent, a greater emphasis upon the individualistic aspect of salvation, and the introduction of a mystical element in the thought of man's relation to God. There is an evident fusion and syncretizing of Jewish, Oriental, and Greek thought.

We will see how these ideas affected the thought-world of the expanding Christian movement as it entered the Hellenistic and Gentile worlds.

[merged small][ocr errors]

CHAPTER III

THE BELIEVER AS PNEUMATIKOS: THE GIFTS OF THE SPIRIT The original disciples of Jesus were disheartened at his death, but they nevertheless could not erase from their memories the deep impress which his life and teachings had made upon their minds. They still in imagination could see him as he preached and healed; and especially at times when they met together, a small group of them, in some home or by the seaside did they seem to feel his presence near them. At such times they would doubtless recount some of the things they had seen him do or heard him say. And this would bring into their minds in still clearer and more vivid outlines the picture of him whom they had come to trust and love.

Holding to the psychological notions that were current in their day, they of course did not distinguish between the external and internal reality of mental experiences, and interpreted these vivid impressions of their departed teacher to be externally real. They furthermore could not think of him as being really dead, for they believed as the people of their time did, that the soul continued its existence in spiritual form after death. Nor could they think of him as living in the underworld, for these visions which they had had of him were proof of the fact that Hades could not hold him and that he had actually risen from the dead and was still in close fellowship with them.

When by the passing of time these mental impressions gradually grew weaker and less distinct, and the visions of the risen Jesus consequently became less frequent, the question as to where the risen Jesus was must have offered itself to the minds of his followers. It was natural that since they thought of Jesus as a prophet like unto Moses and since they believed that not only Moses but such rare spirits as Enoch and Elijah had gone directly to heaven, they should conceive of the spirit of Jesus as having undergone a similar exaltation. The resurrection of Jesus then came to be regarded as the first necessary step to his exaltation to heaven. And this conception of Jesus must have been one of the factors that changed the disciples from a band of disheartened fishermen to a group of bold and enthusiastic preachers. Perhaps already they felt because of this new hope born in them that a

1 See on the subject of the resurrection-appearances of Jesus Lake, The Historical Evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, pp. 166-279.

« 上一頁繼續 »