Tag Archives: Augustine

The Struggles of Early Christianity: Augustine and Mani, Earthly and Cosmic Christ

This blog seeks to reopen the debates of Early Christianity about the principles: The Father, The Son, and the Holy Spirit. It seeks to understand what was meant by the Logos and the Paraclete. I stumbled upon a blog that was perfect for this journey. The following is quoted from Mieke Mosmuller’s philosophical reflections blog.  Augustine and Manicheism III

“In the book ‘Contra Faustum’ Augustine writes as follows and we can see clearly, what Rudolf Steiner meant:

Faustus objects to the incarnation of God on the ground that the evangelists are at variance with each other, and that incarnation is unsuitable to deity. Augustine attempts to remove the critical and theological difficulties.

1. Faustus said: Do I believe in the incarnation? For my part, this is the very thing I long tried to persuade myself of, that God was born; but the discrepancy in the genealogies of Luke and Matthew stumbled me, as I knew not which to follow. For I thought it might happen that, from not being omniscient, I might take the true for false, and the false for true. So, in despair of settling this dispute, I betook myself to Mark and John, two authorities still, and evangelists as much as the others. I approved with good reason of the beginning of Mark and John, for they have nothing of David, or Mary, or Joseph. John says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God,” meaning Christ. Mark says, “The gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God,” as if correcting Matthew, who calls him the Son of David. Perhaps, however, the Jesus of Matthew is a different person from the Jesus of Mark. This is my reason for not believing in the birth of Christ.

Remove this difficulty, if you can, by harmonizing the accounts, and I am ready to yield. In any case, however, it is hardly consistent to believe that God, the God of Christians, was born from the womb.

2. Augustine replied: Had you read the Gospel with care, and inquired into those places where you found opposition, instead of rashly condemning them, you would have seen that the recognition of the authority of the evangelists by so many learned men all over the world, in spite of this most obvious discrepancy, proves that there is more in it than appears at first sight. Any one can see, as well as you, that the ancestors of Christ in Matthew and Luke are different; while Joseph appears in both, at the end in Matthew and at the beginning in Luke. Joseph, it is plain, might be called the father of Christ, on account of his being in a certain sense the husband of the mother of Christ; and so his name, as the male representative, appears at the beginning or end of the genealogies. Any one can see as well as you that Joseph has one father in Matthew and another in Luke, and so with the grandfather and with all the rest up to David. Did all the able and learned men, not many Latin writers certainly, but innumerable Greek, who have examined most attentively the sacred Scriptures, overlook this manifest difference? Of course they saw it. No one can help seeing it. But with a due regard to the high authority of Scripture, they believed that there was something here which would be given to those that ask, and denied to those that snarl; would be found by those that seek, and taken away from those that criticise; would be open to those that knock, and shut against those that contradict. They asked, sought, and knocked; they received, found, and entered in.”

This quote shows the great debates within early Christianity. Those with ties to the Old Mysteries that persisted until the 4th Century, sought for the Cosmic Christ and could not accept that a divine being would, or even could, incarnate into matter. The physical world had evolved from being maya, illusion, to be the creation of a lesser-god that, through temptation, had corrupted Mankind. But the New Mysteries, established on Golgotha, declared that this God, the Christ, had indeed fully incarnated into a physical body and, by doing so, had altered the future path of Mankind and the Earth. But the forces promoting a physical Christ, could not figure out the birth of Christ. The mysteries of the Baptism and the Transfiguration were already lost. Gone too, by the time of Augustine, was the understanding of the different between Jesus and Christ. Grasping this difference made the birth stories of Matthew and Luke understandable. For the four Gospels, are not contradicting each other. The Birth of Christ is at the Baptism. Now this paper  about Leonardo’s Virgin of the Rocks will make more sense.

Significance of 153 Fish in John 21

Why 153 Fish?

Let’s start with the scene in John 21:10-11 [King James Version], “Jesus said to them, ‘Bring some of the fish that you have just caught.’ So Simon Peter went aboard and hauled the net ashore, full of fish, a hundred and fifty three of them; and although there were so many, the net was not torn.”

The catch of 153 fish in the Epilogue is a story about the resurrected Christ and the Fishers of Men. Throughout the early years of Christianity, Christ is depicted with two fish. The time of the coming of Christ was in the Age of Aries, hence he is called the Lamb of God. In 1413 we entered the Age of Pisces. Soon followed the Renaissance. Later the Reformation as materialism continued to sink deeper and deeper into science, cultural, and religion. By the year 1900, many Christians saw Jesus as just a remarkable man, or maybe even a myth. The nets of the Fishers of Men were empty.

But why 153? Many have attempted to solve this because the writer of John did not waste words. Such details indicate deeper mysteries to be sought.

Before we get into this, let me first describe a mathematical operative called the Power of. Its symbol is a triangle with a number written inside. So the Power of 10 is 1+2+3+…+9+10. There is a formula one can use to quickly calculate the result: n* (n+1)/2. For the Power of 10 = 10*11/2 = 55.

Many before me have found that 153 is the Power of 17. Early church father Augustine described the significance of 153 as the sum of 1+2+3+4+…..+16+17. That then leads to the question what is the significance of 17?

Augustine says 17 means 10 + 7 and represents the ten commandments plus the seven spirits of God, that is the solar system to Saturn. Gregory the Great agreed with Augustine’s 17 but he comes to 153 by multiplying 17 by the number of heavenly hierarchies, 9.

I see the significance of 17 as the combination of the number of heaven, 7, and the number of earth, 10. Now we can better understand Christ’s words in the Epilogue “unto me is given all authority in heaven and earth.”  [We’ll discuss this word “authority” in a later blog].

17 also equals 12 + 5. This would represent the zodiac, the fullness of the Cosmic Archetype of Man plus the fullness of the Earthly Man. In this formulation, the number 153 represents every possible people group in the world and each fish represents one power of the archetype-pairing to people the world.

This Wikipedia entry has several more mathematical attributes to 153.

Why does the author of John say “the net was not torn”? Earlier, when Peter and Andrew were called we read, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of me. Immediately they left their nets and followed him.” In Luke 5:2-6 we read, “And he saw two boats by the lake; but the fisherman had gone out of them and were washing their nets. Getting into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, he asked him to put out a little from the land. And he sat down and taught the people from the boat. And when he had ceased speaking, he said to Simon, ‘Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.’ And Simon answered, ‘Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets.’ And when they had down this, they enclosed a great shoal of fish; and as their nets were breaking, they beckoned to their partners in the other boat to come and help them.” At the calling, the nets of the Fishers of Men break. Here in the epilogue of John, these nets no longer break.

Where else in the gospels do we have something torn? In Mark 15:37-38 we read, “And Jesus uttered a loud cry, and breathed his last. And the veil in the temple [to cover the Holy of the Holies] was torn in two, from top to bottom.”

In summary, the Epilogue to John’s gospel is a scene where the Resurrected Christ stands on the shore of a lake.  This scene recapitulates the scene in Luke where Jesus Christ calls the fishermen Andrew and Peter.  In Luke, they fish all night but catch nothing.  Christ advises them where to cast their nets and in so doing the catch is so great the nets break.  When he says “follow me” they immediately do so.  Here in John’s Epilogue, Christ again is on the shore of a lake and again they were fishing unsuccessfully in the night (dark).  When he advises where to cast their net, again the nets are full but this time they do not break.  It is said they contained 153 fish.  Only after this do they all recognize the Resurrected Christ and only through the elevated vision of John.

 

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