FN11) Spirit-Christology ‘refers to the use of “spirit” language to designate Christ—whether in reference to his divinity as opposed to his humanity, or as a personal title’ (B. Bucur, ‘The Son of God and the Angelomorphic Holy Spirit: A Rereading of the Shepherd’s Christology,’ ZNW 98  120-42, here 121 n.7). I am not, here, using ‘Spirit-Christology’ to refer to the action of the Holy Spirit upon and with Jesus in the incarnation prevalent in contemporary discussions of Trinitarian doctrine.
FN22) F.R.M. Hitchcock, ‘The Apostolic Preaching of Irenaeus and its Light on his Doctrine of the Trinity,’ Herm 14 (1907) 307-37, here 318-20; F.R.M. Hitchcock, ‘The Apostolic Preaching of Irenaeus,’ JTS 9 (1908) 284-89, here 287; J.A. Robinson, trans. & ed., St. Irenaeus, The Demonstration of the Apostolic Preaching (TCL; London: SPCK, 1920) 64-65, 67; F. Loofs, Theophilus von Antiochien Adversus Marcionem und die Anderen theologischen Quellen bei Irenaeus (TU 46.2; ed. A. von Harnack & C. Schmidt; Leipzig: J.C. Hinrich’s Buchhandlung, 1930) esp. 101-13 & 211-57; F.R.M. Hitchcock, ‘Loofs’ Asiatic Source (1QA) and the Ps-Justin De Resurrectione,’ ZNW 36 (1937) 35-60, here 35-38; H.J. Carpenter, ‘The Birth from Holy Spirit and the Virgin in the Old Roman Creed,’ JTS 40 (1939) 31-36, here 33 n.3; J.N.D. Kelly, Early Christian Creeds (London: Longmans, 1960) 148; A. Rousseau, ed., Irénée de Lyon, Contre les Hérésies 5.1 (SC 152; Paris: Éditions du Cerf, 1969) 202; M. Simonetti, ‘Note di cristologia pneumatica,’ Aug 12 (1972) 201-32, esp. 214, 220-21; H.-J. Jaschke, Der Heilige Geist im Bekenntnis der Kirche: Eine Studie zur Pneumatologie des Irenäus von Lyon im Ausgang vom altchristlichen Glaubensbekenntnis (MBT 40; Münster: Verlag Aschendorff, 1976) 226-30; A. Orbe, Teología de San Ireneo, Commentario al Libro V del ‘Adversus Haereses’ (BZC, sma 25; Madrid: Biblioteca de Autores Cristianos, 1985) 1: 107.
FN33) See the previous note for these bibliographic references.
FN44) Bucur also offers a good definition for ‘binitarian’: ‘the term . . . points to a bifurcation of the divinity (as opposed to “unitarian”), while preserving a monotheistic worldview (“binitarian monotheism”, as opposed to “dualism”)’ (‘Rereading Shepherd’s Christology,’ 121 n.6). A binitarian orientation is not an uncommon feature of this period’s theology; C. Stead notes, ‘the origin and function [of the Holy Spirit] are much less clearly worked out [than that of the Logos], and sometimes He almost disappears behind the Logos, so that historians of doctrine can speak of a “binitarian” tendency in the second century’ (Philosophy in Christian Antiquity [Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994] 156). Examples of binitarianism may be found in A. Segal’s Two Powers in Heaven: Early Rabbinic Reports about Christianity and Gnosticism (Leiden: Brill, 1977).
FN55) For the meaning of ‘angelomorphic’, C. Fletcher-Louis provides a convenient definition: the term should be used ‘wherever there are signs that an individual or community possesses specifically angelic characteristics or status, though for whom identity cannot be reduced to that of an angel’ (Luke-Acts: Angels, Christology and Soteriology [WUNT 2.94; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 1997] 14-15).
FN66) This connection has been identified in the Shepherd of Hermas, Justin Martyr, and Clement of Alexandria. See the following articles by B. Bucur, ‘Rereading Shepherd’s Christology,’ 120-42; ‘The Angelic Spirit in Early Christianity: Justin, the Martyr and Philosopher,’ JRel 88 (2008) 190-208; ‘Revisiting Christian Oeyen: ‘The Other Clement’ on Father, Son, and the Angelomorphic Spirit,’ VigChr 61 (2007) 381-413; as well as my essay, ‘Measuring Justin’s Approach to the Spirit: Trinitarian Conviction and Binitarian Orientation,’ VigChr 63 (2009) 107-37.
FN77) The argument for the existence of angelomorphism in Irenaeus was formulated by D.E. Lanne who contended that Irenaeus identified the Word and Spirit as Cherubim and Seraphim in Proof 10 (‘Cherubim et Seraphim: Essai d’Interprétation du Chapitre X de la Démonstration de Saint Irénée,’ RSR 43  524-35). Lanne’s reading has been followed by J. Daniélou, The Theology of Jewish Christianity (trans. & ed. J. Baker, London: Darton, Longman & Todd, 1964) 138-40; G.G. Stroumsa, ‘Le Couple de l’Ange et de l’Esprit: Traditions Juives et Chrétiennes,’ RevBib 88 (1981) 42-61, here 47; and I.M. MacKenzie, Irenaeus’s Demonstration of the Apostolic Preaching; A theological commentary and translation (Aldershot [Eng.]: Ashgate, 2002) 98-99.
FN88) For instance, Robinson, Loofs, and Simonetti contend that Irenaeus identifies the Holy Spirit as the pre-existent Christ in certain passages. The reader will find references to their arguments throughout this study.
FN99) For this argument see my, ‘Re-Evaluating Angelomorphism in Irenaeus: The Case of Proof 10,’ JTS 61 (2010) 583-95.
FN1010) Loofs, Theophilus von Antiochien, 346; Simonetti, ‘Note di cristologia pneumatica,’ 231.
FN1111) In this determination H.-J. Jaschke, who argued against Loofs’ Spirit-Christological reading, has preceded me (Der Heilige Geist, 226-30). Yet, Jaschke addresses only a few of the germane texts, and does not provide a detailed analysis of those he does address. Long ago, Hitchcock did provide a brief examination of many of the texts to which Loofs appeals (‘Loofs’ Asiatic Source,’ 35-38), but he does not refer to some of the texts that have received more recent attention by Simonetti (‘Note di cristologia pneumatica,’ 214, 220-21). Simonetti, in fact, either overlooks or ignores Hitchcock, and is himself overlooked or ignored by Jaschke.
FN1212) I will not take the time to address the passages that Loofs alters, by subtraction or addition, in order to render them Spirit-Christological. For these passages, see Hitchcock, ‘Loofs’ Asiatic Source,’ 35-38.
FN1313) In addition to these passages, there has been a persistent tendency to view AH 5,1,3 as Spirit-Christological. Both Loofs (Theophilus von Antiochien, 240 n.1) and Simonetti (‘Note di cristologia pneumatica,’ 214, 220-21) base their convictions on the sentence, ‘the Word of the Father and the Spirit of God, having been united with the ancient substance of the formation of Adam rendered man living and perfect’. Loofs holds that ‘the Word of the Father’ is an interpolation, while Simonetti argues that ‘the Word of the Father’ and ‘the Spirit of God’ stand in parallel. Both opinions have the effect of identifying the Holy Spirit with the pre-existent Christ. Hitchcock has already shown Loofs’ reading to be inaccurate, and his comments also apply to Simonetti’s interpretation, though Simonetti appears unaware of them (‘Loofs’ Asiatic Source,’ 36-37). I will add one observation to Hitchcock’s well-reasoned analysis. Hitchcock points out that the context of this statement is Irenaeus’ identification of the Word and Spirit as the Hands of God to whom the Father is speaking in Gen 1,26. I would like to mention that Irenaeus had already interpreted Gen 1,26 as containing the Father’s discourse with his Hands, both the Word and the Spirit, in 4,pref,4 and 4,20,1—it is a well-established interpretation by 5,1,3. Cf. Orbe, who says 5,1,3 has two possible interpretations: (1) Verbum Patris refers to the person, Spiritus Dei to the divine nature; (2) Verbum Patris refers to the second person, Spiritus Dei to the third (Teología de San Ireneo, 1: 107). Orbe recommends the second reading.
FN1414) With regard to AH 4,31,2, see: Loofs, Theophilus von Antiochien, 101-13; and Simonetti, ‘Note di cristologia pneumatica,’ 213-14. With regard to Prf 97, see Robinson, Demonstration, 64-65, 67; Carpenter, ‘The Birth from Holy Spirit,’ 33 n.3; and Kelly, Early Christian Creeds, 148, referring to Robinson.
FN1515) The last sentence reads: Totum autem significabatur per Lot, quoniam semen Patris omnium, hoc est Spiritus Dei, per quem facta sunt omnia, commixtus et unitus est carni, hoc est plasmati suo, per quam commixtionem et unitatem duae synagogae, id est duae congregationes, fructificant ex patre suo filios vivos vivo Deo.Greek and Latin quotations of AH are taken from Irénée de Lyon, Contre les Hérésies in 10 volumes (SC; eds. A. Rousseau, et al.; Paris 1965-82). Armenian quotations of AH 4 & 5 are taken from Irenäus, Gegen die Häretiker. ῎Ελεγχος καὶ ἀνατροπὴ τῆς ψευδωνύµου γνώσεως, Buch 4 u. 5 in armenischer Version (Arm. by K. Ter-Mekerttschian; ed. E. Ter-Minassiantz; TU 35.2; eds. A. Harnack and C. Schmidt; Leipzig: Hinrich, 1910). Translations of AH are mine, unless otherwise noted. Armenian quotations of Prf are taken from Irenaeus, Εἰς ἐπίδειξιν τοῦ ἀποστολικοῦ κηρύγµατος; The Proof of the Apostolic Preaching, with Seven Fragments (PO 12.5; ed. & Eng. trans. K. Ter-Mekerttschian, S.G. Wilson, & Prince Maxe of Saxony; Fr. trans. J. Barthoulot; 1917, repr. Turnhout: Brepols, 1989). Unless otherwise noted, translations of Prf are from St Irenaeus of Lyons, On the Apostolic Preaching (trans. J. Behr; New York: St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 1997).
FN1616) Σπέρµα ζωτικὸν καὶ τέκνων ἐπικαρπίαν δυνάµενος δοῦναι αὐταῖς / semen vitale et filiorum fructum posset dare eis; the Armenian has պտղաւորութիւն (fructificationem) for fructum.
FN1717) P. Bacq takes this approach, De l’ancienne à la nouvelle Alliance selon S. Irénée: unité du livre IV de l’Adversus Haereses (Paris / Namur: Éditions Lethielleux / Presses Universitaires de Namur, 1978) 214-15.
FN1818) The paradigm is a straightforward reference to the physical insemination of a woman by a man in order to produce a child.
FN1919) The two synagogues refer to the Jewish and Gentile people-groups. Cf. Loofs, Theophilus von Antiochien, 105; Bacq, De l’ancienne à la nouvelle Alliance, 214-15.
FN2020) By saying, ‘when having laid down, he fell asleep, and took repose,’ Ireneaus probably means the Spirit was given by the Incarnate Word after his death, as he speaks of the sending of the Spirit elsewhere (e.g., AH 3,17,1-2). Both Loofs (Theophilus von Antiochien, 107) and Bacq (De l’ancienne à la nouvelle Alliance, 214-15) interpret these words as referring to Jesus’ death.
FN2121) Irenaeus conceives of only one type of life, a biological or physical life that can be either temporal or eternal, he does not envision a physical life given to the body by means of the soul and distinguished by kind from a supernatural life given to the animated body by means of the Holy Spirit. The idea that a distinction can be drawn in Irenaeus’ thought between two types of life, the supernatural and the physical/biological, was a commonplace that still persists in some authors despite the existence of a growing body of scholarship showing the inaccuracy of such a characterization. See: G. Wingren, Man and the Incarnation: A Study in the Biblical Theology of Irenaeus (trans. R. MacKenzie; Eugene (Oregon): Wipf & Stock, 1959) esp. 14.54 n.36.108.120; J. Fantino, La théologie d’Irénée: lecture des Ecritures en réponse à l’exégèse gnostique. Une approche trinitaire (Paris: Cerf, 1994) 319-21; J. Behr, Asceticism and Anthropology in Irenaeus and Clement (OECS; eds. G. Clark & A. Louth; Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000) 56 n.76 and 92-97.
FN2222) Loofs believes that the last sentence in 4,31,2 reflects the Spirit-Christological theology of the presbyter from whom Irenaeus is borrowing, while the earlier discussion of 4,31,1-2 reflects the Logos-Christology of Irenaeus himself (Theophilus von Antiochien, 103-13, esp. 109-10). Jaschke has argued against the logic that undergirds this move by Loofs (Der Heilige Geist, 227-28). Simonetti does not take into consideration this discord.
FN2323) According to Irenaeus, however, the Holy Spirit plays a role in both redemption and creation. The Spirit’s role in redemption can be seen, for instance, in AH 3,9,3 & 3,10,3 where the Holy Spirit as the Unction of Christ is the uniquely capable agent who mediates the presence of Christ to believers, thereby bringing to believers the requisite knowledge for redemption, the knowledge of the incarnate Word (see my, ‘The Holy Spirit as the Unction of Christ in Irenaeus,’ JTS 61  171-93). The Spirit’s role in creation can be seen in his identification as one of the Hands of God who formed human beings (e.g., AH 4,pref,4; 4,20,1), and as the Wisdom of God, a title Irenaeus ascribes to the Holy Spirit in order to affirm the harmonious effect of the Spirit’s particular activity in creation (e.g., AH 2,30,9; 4,20,2.4; Prf 5).
FN2424) Loofs, Theophilus von Antiochien, 109-10.
FN2525) Simonetti, ‘Note di cristologia pneumatica,’ 213-14. Simonetti does not argue this point from Irenaeus, but rather asserts it.
FN2626) Irenaeus uses ‘Spirit of God’ to refer to the divine nature in AH 2,30,8: ‘And truly he is the Spirit of God, not in fact an animal Demiurge, otherwise he never would have brought about the spiritual (pl.). If, on the other hand, he is animal, let them tell us by whom the spiritual (pl.) are made.’ This identification of God as a spiritual being in 2,30,8 enables him to affirm (against the Gnostics) that one God created all things, both spiritual and material. He uses ‘Spirit of God’ to refer to the Holy Spirit in several different contexts, including: (1) AH 3,9,3 and 3,17,1 where the Spirit is the Unction of Christ who anoints Jesus’ humanity and is subsequently sent by Jesus to believers; (2) AH 5,1,3 where the Spirit is one of the Hands of God; and (3) numerous places in AH 5 that highlight the role of the Spirit in redemption (e.g., 5,6,1).
FN2727) Also in 5,6,1: ‘the perfect human being is the commingling and union (commixtio et adunitio est) of the soul receiving the Spirit of the Father, and the admixture (admixtae) of that flesh which was formed after the image of God’; and again in 5,6,1, ‘But the commingling (commixtio) and union (unitio) of all of these (Spirit, soul, and flesh) constitutes the perfect human being.’
FN2828) The Armenian could also be read as ‘she’.
FN2929) Robinson, Demonstration, 64-65.
FN3030) Robinson suggests the original Greek was συµπλεκόµενος. Demonstration, 64 n.1.
FN3131) Demonstration, 64.
FN3232) Ibid., 64-65. This reading was affirmed about a decade later by Carpenter (‘The Birth from Holy Spirit,’ 33 n.3), and then again by Kelly, who follows Robinson (Early Christian Creeds, 148).
FN3333) This reading enables Irenaeus’ discussion in 4,20,4 to agree with that of 4,20,3, which contains his strongest statement about the eternal distinction of the Spirit, as Wisdom, from the Word, the Son. It makes little sense for Irenaeus to blur the identities of the Word and Spirit in 4,20,4, as Robinson’s reading entails, right after he established their eternal distinction in 4,20,2-3.
FN3434) Scholars have long debated whether Irenaeus’ anthropology is trichotomous or dichotomous. All agree that he holds both the body and soul to be parts of the human being, the concern is to determine whether he also includes a human, created spirit, or even if the presence of the Holy Spirit is essential to the human being. I believe that Irenaeus appropriates a dichotomous understanding according to which all human beings consist of a body and soul, while ‘perfect’ or ‘spiritual’ human beings have also received the Holy Spirit. A dichotomous reading of Irenaeus dates back at least to E. Klebba’s passionate argument in Die Anthropologie des Hl. Irenaeus (KGS 2.3; Münster, 1894) esp. 164-66. Behr has recently suggested that temporal life is the result of a continual nourishing presence by the Holy Spirit in every human being (Asceticism and Anthropology, esp. 97-100). I, however, read Irenaeus as saying that temporal life comes to human beings by the instrumentality of the Spirit, not its presence.
FN3535) Rousseau writes, ‘man, considered not in an abstract fashion, but in a concrete and existential fashion, in the free opening of himself to God by which he finds his supreme completion, “is constituted” of body, of soul and of Holy Spirit’ (SC 406, 350).According to Irenaeus, the individual who possesses a soul and body is ‘animal,’ while the individual who possesses a soul, body, and Spirit is ‘spiritual and perfect’. In this way, the believer possesses the Holy Spirit in a manner that is analogous to, but not the same as, the possession of the body and soul. By defining the ‘spiritual and perfect’ person as one who has received the addition of the Spirit, Irenaeus is combating the Gnostic suggestion that a spiritual person is one who sheds the flesh and soul, becoming only Spirit (see AH 2,29,1). The simple reception of the Holy Spirit, however, does not fully explain what Irenaeus means by the term ‘perfect’. His idea of ‘perfection’ also includes (a) the process by which the believer increasingly conforms to the character of God at this present time by means of the presence of the Spirit and the concomitant reception of grace, and (b) the final state of being at which the human being approximates the uncreated One by possessing eternal existence inasmuch as it is possible for a created being, and so, as eternal, is ‘like’ God.
FN3636) Rousseau also points out that the ‘theological anthropology’ we find in Prf 97 is ‘firmly elaborated’ in AH 5 (SC 406, 350).
FN3737) Also in 5,6,1: ‘the perfect human being is the commingling and union (commixtio et adunitio est) of the soul receiving the Spirit of the Father, and the admixture (admixtae) of that flesh which was formed after the image of God’; and again in 5,6,1, ‘But the commingling (commixtio) and union (unitio) of all of these (Spirit, soul, and flesh) constitutes the perfect human being.’
FN3838) Simonetti, ‘Note di cristologia pneumatica,’ 214. See also, Robinson, Demonstration, 63-65; Loofs, Theophilus von Antiochien, 240-41.
FN3939) AH 5,1,2: ‘For [Jesus] would not have been one truly possessing flesh and blood, by which he redeemed us, unless he had summed up in himself the ancient formation of Adam. Vain therefore are the disciples of Valentinus who put forth this opinion, in order that they may exclude the flesh from salvation, and cast aside what God has fashioned’ (ANF translation).
FN4040) Readers should beware of the discordant ANF translation of this passage.
FN4141) Cf. Orbe’s similar reading, Teología de San Ireneo, 1: 83-84.
FN4242) The reader should not construe the presence of the article in ἐπεὶ ἀόρατον τὸ Πνεῦµα, to denote the person of the Holy Spirit for two reasons. First, Πνεῦµα Θεοῦ is inarticulate, and τὸ Πνεῦµα refers to it. Second, Irenaeus has just distinguished the Holy Spirit from the incarnate Word in the final sentences of 5,1,1, ‘the Lord thus has redeemed us through his own blood, giving his soul for our souls, and his flesh for our flesh, and has also poured out the Spirit of the Father for the union and communion of God and man, imparting indeed God to men by means of the Spirit, and, on the other hand attaching man to God by his incarnation’ (ANF translation). It seems most likely that Irenaeus intends for the article to identify this Spirit with the previous Spirit: the invisible Spirit is the Spirit, the Spirit of God he has just mentioned.
FN4343) Or, as Rousseau determines by grammatical analysis: ‘the expression Πνεῦµα Θεου has nothing to do with the third divine person: it is not a question of the Spirit who is a member of God (genitive possessive), but of the spiritual Reality that is God (genitive explicative)’ (SC 152, 202; author’s emphasis).
FN4444) Loofs, Theophilus von Antiochien, 241. Hitchcock has already taken Loofs to task for his poor methodology (‘Loofs’ Asiatic Source,’ 36).
FN4545) Lam 4,20 in Prf 71: ‘The Spirit of our face is [Christ the Lord]; and how was he taken into their nets, of whom we said, under His shadow we shall live among the nations.’
FN4646) The interpretation of ‘Spirit of God’ in this passage as referring to the Word dates back to Hitchcock’s statement that this passage contains an ‘apparent identification of the Word and Spirit’ (‘The Apostolic Preaching of Irenaeus and its Light on his Doctrine of the Trinity,’ 318-20). The very next year he said that when Irenaeus wrote, ‘being Spirit of God, Christ was going to become a passible man,’ he identifies the Spirit with the Word, just as Justin did in 1 Apol 33,6 (‘The Apostolic Preaching of Irenaeus,’ 287).Robinson bases his argument for the personal identification of Christ as Spirit in Prf 71 on his determination that Irenaeus uses Lam 4,20 to identify Christ as Spirit in AH 3,10,3. With the identification of Christ as Spirit in place from 3,10,3 he translates Քանզի որպէս հոկանի ի մարմնոյ լինի, այսպէս եւ Քրիստոսի մարմինն ի հոգւոյն նորա եղեւ as, ‘For just as a shadow is made by a body, so also Christ’s body was made by his Spirit.’ He then reasons, ‘This is as much to say that the Word of God was the agent of his own Incarnation’ (Demonstration, 63). Thereby, arriving at the personal identification of the Word of God as the Spirit of God. In my opinion, however, Irenaeus does not use Lam 4,20 to identify the Word as the Spirit in 3,10,3, but rather to affirm the role of the Spirit, as the Unction of Christ, in making known the incarnate Word, Salvation, to believers (see my, ‘The Holy Spirit in Irenaeus,’ 183-85).A few years prior to Robinson, J. Barthoulot offered the first French translation of this passage, ‘Car, comme l’ombre vient du corps, ainsi le corps est venu de son Esprit.’ He then suggested that ‘sans doute’ Irenaeus had in mind the agency of the Holy Spirit in the impregnation of Mary as conveyed in Mt 1,18.20 and Lk 1,35 (Saint Irénée, Démonstration de la Prédication Apostolique, [PO 12.5; trans. & ann. J. Barthoulot, ed. J. Tixeront; 1917 / repr. Brepols, 1989] 790 n.4). Because of the logic of Prf 71 the identification of the Word and Holy Spirit follows from Barthoulot’s suggestion, though he himself does not go so far as to advance that opinion.In contrast to earlier identifications of the Spirit of God with the person of the pre-existent Christ, Rousseau supports his interpretation of Irenaeus’ use of Spirit language in that passage by comparing it to Prf 71. Both, then, refer to the ‘spiritual Reality that is God’, rather than the ‘Spirit who is a member of God’ (SC 152, 202). In the same way that he betrays no awareness of Hitchcock’s work on 5,1,3, Simonetti seems unaware of these comments by Rousseau when he identifies the Spirit of God in Prf 71 with the person of the pre-existent Christ (‘Note di cristologia pneumatica,’ 214)—a curious state of affairs.
FN4747) Robinson deliberately disregards the context of the passage. He writes: ‘Here again we are not concerned with the general argument [of Prf 71], but only with these two statements: Christ was Spirit of god, and Christ’s body was made by his Spirit’ (Demonstration, 63). Conclusions based upon such an ill-conceived method stand little chance of being correct.
FN4848) For Robinson’s translation see note 45.
FN4949) This reading gains substantial support from the fact that both J. Smith (Proof of the Apostolic Preaching [ACW 16; trans. & ann. J. Smith; New York: Newman Press, 1952] 202 n.303: ‘Identifications of Christ with the Holy Spirit are found in early writers . . . but they are eschewed by Irenaeus.’) and J. Behr (On the Apostolic Preaching, 115 n.188) join Rousseau in this interpretation.