The point of this post is to highlight, with reference to the sources, some of the less widely known beliefs among Jews around the time Christianity was emerging, and that would seem to have some resonances among Christian ideas we find in Paul and other early letters and gospels.
The Jewish world from which Christianity emerged is infinitely more complex than our traditional readings of the Old Testament and the beliefs of current Judaism. I would love to compile an outline of all its variations — or better still, find a book where this is already done. Till then, here are a few snippets that are worth keeping in mind whenever the subject of Christian origins is addressed.
- The human form of the Logos, God’s first-born, and Heavenly Man
- The Heavenly Man and the Earthly Man
- The human form of Wisdom
- The heavenly Adam
- Melchizedek and other vice-regents of God
- Divine Heavenly Patriarchs
The following is taken primarily from a chapter on Jewish sectarian texts (and from a few references in a chapter on Philo) in Alan Segal’s Two Powers in Heaven. Continue reading “Two Adams, Human-Divine Mediators and Angels, and a Very Different View of Early Judaism”