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The Divine Anthropos Theme in Pre-Nicene Paschal Materials

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Chapter Summary

There are some differences and commonalities in the ways the pre-Nicene paschal authors (Melito of Sardis, Pseudo-Hippolytus, and Origen of Alexandria) conceive of the Divine Anthropos. The Exodus 12 become a key sacred text to both Judaism and Christianity, with Christians inserting it into their paschal liturgy from Melito's times as he attests in the very first verses of his homily to the present day. There are two hermeneutical keys present in all three authors' works: typology and Christological interpretation. First, the typological method presupposes that each element of Exodus 12 denotes a pre-figuration of a truth revealed in Jesus Christ after his incarnation. Second, the christological interpretation equates Yahweh, who saves the Israelites, with Jesus Christ. Pseudo-Hippolytus envisions Christ as an anthropomorphic and, therefore, Adamic figure of cosmic dimensions and luminous consistency. For Origen, the word "Pascha" has primarily the meaning of "passage" rather than "sacrifice".

Keywords: divine Anthropos; Exodus 12; Jesus Christ; Melito of Sardis; Origen of Alexandria; Pseudo-Hippolytus

10.1163/9789004251700_004
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