Saturday, November 21, 2009

Pseudo Justin on the ascension

"Why did He rise in the flesh in which He suffered, unless to show the resurrection of the flesh? And wishing to confirm this, when His disciples did not know whether to believe He had truly risen in the body, and were looking upon Him and doubting, He said to them, 'Ye have not yet faith, see that it is I;' and He let them handle Him, and showed them the prints of the nails in His hands. And when they were by every kind of proof persuaded that it was Himself, and in the body, they asked Him to eat with them, that they might thus still more accurately ascertain that He had in verity risen bodily; and He did eat honey-comb and fish. And when He had thus shown them that there is truly a resurrection of the flesh, wishing to show them this also, that it is not impossible for flesh to ascend into heaven (as He had said that our dwelling-place is in heaven), 'He was taken up into heaven while they beheld,' as He was in the flesh."

De resurrectione 9.5-8 (, a fragmentary 4th or 5th century treatise attributed to Justin Martyr, but probably "the work of a single author of the Aristotelian school" (ODCC, rev. 3rd ed. (2005), s.v. "Justin Martyr, St.").  I was first put onto this by A. Chollet in the Dictionnaire de théologie catholique, vol. 3 (1908), col. 1894 (s.v. "Corps glorieux").
According to Quasten, the fragments came down to us via the Hiera or "Sacra Parallela of St. John Damascene" (vol. 1, p. 205), "Now lost in its original form" (ODCC, rev. 3rd ed. (2005), s.v. "John of Damascus, St.").
Critical edition is Martin Heimgartner, Pseudojustin, Über die Auferstehung: Text und Studie, Patristische Texte und Studien 54 (New York, NY: Walter de Gruyter, 2001), pp. 124-126.
"some honeycomb" (καὶ ἀπὸ μελισσίου κηρίου/κηρίον, "and [something] from a honeycomb"/"and a honeycomb from a bee-hive") is there in the apparatus to the critical editions of Lk 24:42, and the 3rd ed. of the GNT (though not the 27th ed. of NA) cites--for the reading with κηρίου--Justin, among others. It is there in the Authorized and some other versions, too.

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