Monthly Archives: September 2010

A Translation of I Corinthians 13 from the Ambrosiaster Text

A translation of the Ambrosiaster text on I Corinthians 13.

Translated from the Latin text found in MPL. Vol. 17. Ad. Opera S. Ambrosii Appendix. Comment. In Epist. Ad I Cor. Col. 257ff

For introductory notes on this translation along with commentary go to: Notes on Translating Ambrosiaster’s Corinthians 12-14.

Comment. In. Epist. I ad Corinthios 13

(Vers. 1) “If I should speak in the language of men and angels [Col. 265] but I do not have charity, I am one just like a sounding brass1 or a ringing cymbal.” Certainly a great grace appears to speak in diverse languages. But it is something even more if it is possible to know any language of angels, it is having been stirred of angels, if he can spiritually have become acquainted with. Truly this is not to be reckoned according to merit, but according to the glory of God, he shows by those who been made obedient, to be saying as follows as a sounding brass or ringing cymbal.

Because as the brass resounds by another strike and the cymbal rings, therefore it is also this he who is speaking in languages, has the effect and movement of the holy Spirit, as also the Saviour says in a different place, “for it is not you [plural] that are speaking but the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you” (Matt. 10:20). For a she-ass also had spoken in a human language to Balaam son of Beor (Num. 22:28) when he was adjudging the majesty of God and young children broke out in praise of God to the confusion of the Jews (Matt. 21:16). For the Saviour not only that but also shows the stones can cry out to the condemnation of the faithless ones and to the glory of God (Luke 19:40). And between the origins itself to the committal of faith, those who were being baptized, were speaking in languages (Acts 10:46).

Because as the brass resounds by another strike and the cymbal rings, therefore it is also this he who is speaking in languages, has the effect and movement of the holy Spirit, as also the Saviour says in a different place, “for it is not you [plural] that are speaking but the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you” (Matt. 10:20). For a she-ass also had spoken in a human language to Balaam son of Beor (Num. 22:28) when he was adjudging the majesty of God and young children broke out in praise of God to the confusion of the Jews (Matt. 21:16).2 For the Saviour [does] not only that but also shows the stones can cry out to the condemnation of the faithless ones and to the glory of God (Luke 19:40). And between the origins itself to the committal of faith, those who were being baptized, were speaking in languages (Acts 10:46).

(Vers. 2) “And if I shall have prophecy and know all mysteries and all knowledge but I do not have charity, it is profiting nothing with me.” Truly it profits nothing, for it is being prophesied to the glory of God, even as David says [about] prophecy “Not to us, Lord, not to us, but give glory in your name” (Psalm 113:1).3 For instance Balaam also prophesied (Num. 24:17), although he was not a prophet but a soothsayer.4 And Caiphas prophesied (John 11:51), not by merit but through the position of the priest’s rank. And Saul prophesied (I Samuel 19:23), while already for the reason of disobedience he was filled-up by an evil spirit but by God’s reason, he was not able to seize David which he was desiring to kill.

“And if I will have known all the mysteries.” In fact Judas profited nothing having been with the apostles and became acquainted with mysteries when the enemy of charity handed over the Saviour. And Ezekiel the prophet demonstrates the devil to know the celestial mysteries, because by the voice which had been scorned in paradise to be that of God, and bears witness to have had the most costly stones (Ezekiel 28:13), which stones the same5 Apostle signified the mysteries of the divine doctrine (I Cor. 3:12-15). And it profits to me nothing because forgetful of charity, he jumped into pride.6

“And if I would have all knowledge.” Knowledge benefits nothing to me if it is not charitable. In fact it benefitted nothing to the Scribes and Pharisees with the Saviour saying, “You have the key of knowledge, and neither do you enter nor do you permit others to enter.”7 (Luke 11:52) For charity through ill-will8 these ones who are corrupt have spun his knowledge to nothing. For both Tertullian and Novatian were not in small knowledge but because they ruined the alliances by means of a rivalry of charity, with regards to the schism9, the heresies gave birth to its own destruction.

“And if I would have all faith, so as that I could transport mountains.” Powers to be acquired, or rather the power and glory of God is to cast out demons through faith, neither does this accomplish by [means of] merit, neither to anyone who would have been a diligent imitator of a good moral life, as I mentioned above.

(Vers. 3) “And if I would have expended my every resource.” It was explained that if every resource be expended, it profits nothing with charity having been ignored, because charity is the head of the religion, and [the one] who does not have a head, does not have life. “And if I would surrender my body that I am ablaze, it profits me nothing.” Nothing profits without charity because charity is the religious foundation. Whatever then happens without charity, it is doomed.

(Vers. 4-8) “Charity is generous, it is kind.10 It is not being envious, nor is it being haughty, nor wrongly compels, it is not ambitious, it does not search for those things which they are for itself, it is not being provoked, nor thinks evil, it does not rejoice in unfairness, but revels in the truth. It endures, believes, hopes and puts up with all things. Charity at no time ceases.” He taught so great the praise of charity that he was not to appear to place this with the unmerited and to labour the same in vain, which they ascribe the work to different ones, in these ones, they are not compliant. The Apostle John affirms from this, “God is charity” (I John 4:8), that the one who does not have charity, should understand that he does not himself have God. From also the Apostle Paul likewise says, “But God who is rich in mercy who had compassion on us according to His exceeding charity” (Eph. 2:4).11 Whoever then does not have charity, is ungrateful of the mercy of God because he does not value concerning anyone who has been saved. In the same way that they were to distinguish because they were supposed to put victuals in front of the brothers of charity. For this is also what produces in the present, remains in eternity with God.

(Vers. 9-10) “Whether prophecies would become purged or tongues would cease, or knowledge would be purged.12 For we know in part and we prophecy in part but when it will come what which is perfect, the former will be purged which are from the part.” He said all the gifts of the graces are to be purged because they are not able to understand so much, the truth possesses so much. Neither are we able either to grasp or explain the fullness of truth. In fact who can do it that can grasp all the human languages, is that of God? For that reason our imperfection will be destroyed, Not that he would purge what is truth but as long as it is in imperfection it is about to be destroyed. That it is the destruction of imperfection when that, that is imperfection is to be completed in truth.

[Col. 267] (Vers. 11) “While being a child, I was speaking as a child, I was with the sense of a child, I was speaking as a child but when I had become a man, I destroyed13 those things which were of a child.” He says this because the holy things of this world which are perishing, it is more than necessary they should come which they reckon now, as John the Apostle said concerning the Saviour: “Then at that time we will see that one, even as He is,” (I John 3:2). In this life we are now small in comparison to the future life because as this life is imperfect so is also knowledge.

(Vers. 12) “We see now through a glass in an obscure manner then truly face to face.” It has now been revealed to see the images by faith, then the events themselves. “I presently know in part, then at that time I shall truly understand even as I am known.”14 That is, I will see what has been promised even as I am being seen. This is to be present near the Lord where Christ is.

(Vers. 13) “For there now remains faith, hope, charity, these three but the greatest of these is charity.” Charity is the greatest worthy acts because although faith is be made known, and hope is for the future life, charity is preferable even as I mentioned above. From which as John the Apostle, “We know from this, it says, his charity because he himself laid down his own life for us,” (I John 3:16). Therefore justifiably greater is charity by which the human race has been restored.■

Next: I Corinthians 14 from the Ambrosiaster Text

Previous: I Corinthians 12 from the Ambrosiaster Text

The original Latin copy used for this translation can be found here: The Ambrosiaster Latin text on I Corinthians 12-14

A Translation of I Corinthians 14 from the Ambrosiaster Text

A translation of the Ambrosiaster text on I Corinthians 14.

For introductory notes on this translation along with commentary go to: Notes on Translating Ambrosiaster’s Corinthians 12-14.

Comment. In. Epist. I ad Corinthios 14

[Col. 267] (Vers. 1) “Follow after charity, be zealous for spiritual gifts, but rather that you may prophecy.” Rather he urges one is to have after charity the desire of prophesying because to whatever degree greater may be the spiritual ranks which he specifies, this here nevertheless is better which profits to the benefit of the Church that they should learn every matter of the divine law. In fact in that which by he gave the soul. He learns in accordance with it himself the gift. Solomon says, “to know the law is understanding of the best kind” (Wisdom 6:16).1 In fact by relying2 on charity, knowledge is not being puffed-up but has been tamed, accomplishing according to the benefit in all things.

(Vers. 2) “For the one who speaks in a tongue is not speaking to men but to God, but no one hears for by the spirit he is speaking mysteries.” This is what he says because he who is speaking in an unknown language is speaking to God because he himself knows all things. Human beings certainly do not know, for that reason as well no one has been accomplished by this thing. “for by the spirit he is speaking mysteries.” It is not making sense because he is unfamiliar with what he is saying.

(Vers. 3) “But the one who prophecies is speaking to men for the edification, exhortation and the encouragement.” For one is being built up when he learns the solution of the inquiries. For the exhortation happens to that one, that he should allow the requirement of prophesying. He should be truly taking counsel because he seems to be making light of the teachings in regard to the hope. For knowledge of the law strengthens souls, and appeals to the increase of a better hope.

(Vers. 4) “The one who speaks in a language [Col. 268] [personally] builds himself up.3 The one who certainly prophecies builds up the Church.” That is to say this person, that he only knows by accident what he speaks, edifies only with himself. On the other hand, the one who prophecies, edifies all the common people,4 provided that anyone who is to speak is to be understood by everyone. He teaches the prophets [are] the interpreters5 of the Scriptures just as indeed the prophet is to predict future things which they are in a state of ignorance. Therefore too in this place he makes known it is being appointed to prophesy as long as the sense of the Scriptures, a sense which has been concealed in many ways.

(Vers. 5) “While I wish you all to speak in tongues, however more rather that you should prophecy.” He could not prohibit to speak in languages which he teaches to be such a superior gift of the holy Spirit but rather learning is bound to be had by means of prophecy because it is more productive. “For greater is the one who prophecies than the one who speaks in a language, unless it is being interpreted.” Because if he will be able to interpret, it will not be inferior because it edifies the Church. For this is greater because it profits all. For in fact this one who is speaking in languages by the gift of God which is likewise being interpreted, just as those 12 in the Acts of the Apostles (Acts 2:4).

(Vers. 6) “Now then brothers if I would come to you speaking in languages, what will I profit you unless I should speak to you either in a revelation or knowledge,6 or prophecy or instruction?” The one signifies all these things, for nobody will be able to teach unless he is being understood.

(Vers. 7, 8) “Yet some things without a soul gives sound whether a pipe or harp, if they did not give a distinction of sound, how will it be recognized,7 what is being played by the pipe or what is being played on a harp?8 And if the trumpet indeed produces an uncertain sound, by such a thing will it prepare them for battle?” Seeing that the examples persuade more easily than words, he points out by examples by which they should easily understand those ones must not to speak in languages in the Church who cannot interpret.9 Namely anyone that should be speaking, is no-one to be understanding anything?

(Vers. 9) “So also you by means of a language except you have produced expressive speech,10 how will it be known what it is you are speaking? For you will be speaking into the air.” This is accomplishing nothing. “For suppose11 there are many kinds of languages in this world and none without a voice.”12 “There are (certainly) many kinds of languages,” it says, but they possess [their] very own meanings of voice so that they may be understood.

(Vers. 10,11) “If then I would not know the power of the voice, I am to him to whom I am speaking a barbarian and he who is speaking to me a barbarian.” Certainly he does not teach it being desirous that in turns they be seen with each other by a foreign language of a barbarian. But because it is a matter of mutual agreement it has to be in good shape with them in order that they should boast to the delight on either side through the unity of understanding.

(Vers. 12) “So also you, seeing that you are zealous imitators, seek that you prophecy for the building-up of the Church.”13 Because it is useful to explain the Scriptures (for the mind is being inspired and rejoices when it learns something about the Scriptures and how much more does it become the importance in this office, so much it abandons sins)14 [269] therefore he teaches transformational learning by this office.

(Vers. 13) “Therefore the one who speaks in a language, he should pray that he may interpret.” Him who desires to speak in tongues, he teaches that one ought to pray in order that he should receive the gift of interpreting for the purpose that he may be useful in15 his zeal to others.

(Vers. 14) “For if I will have prayed in a language, my spirit prays but my mind is without fruit.” It is clear to disregard our soul, if he should speak in a language which he does not know just as Latin men who are singing Greek, by being a delightful sound of words, yet these ones do not know anything they would say. However the Spirit which was given in baptism, knows anything the soul may pray for, while speaking or whether he concludes in a strange language himself. But on the other hand the mind which is the soul is without fruit. For who can have fruit who does not know what he is to be speaking?

(Vers. 15) “What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, I will also pray with understanding. I am also to say a Psalm by the spirit and I am to say a Psalm also with understanding.”16 He says this, because when he speaks in any specific language which he was [previously] unfamiliar with, so by the spirit, which he prays with understanding but yet again the soul is not ignorant in the like manner and of the Psalm.

(Vers. 16) “Else, if you should bless with the spirit.” It is this, if you are to be speaking the praise of God to those who are hearing in a unknown language, “who is to supply the realm of the uneducated? How is he to say amen upon your blessing because he does not know17 what you are to be saying.” The unskilled is the one who hears what he does not understand, he is ignorant of the end of the speech, and does not respond amen, it is the truth, in order that the benediction be confirmed. For the confirmation of the prayer is being satisfied through these who respond “amen” in order that they should approve everything that has been said as the testimony of truth by the minds of those who hear.

(Vers. 17) “For you give thanks well.” He teaches about him, who had become acquainted with speaking to himself because he knows what he is to be saying. “But no other is being built-up.” If, by all means you are meeting for the purpose of building up the Church, they ought to speak in it, a place where those who are hearing may understand. For instance of what benefit is it that anyone should speak in a language which he only knows that everyone who hears it would profit nothing? For that reason he ought to be silent18 in the Church, that if two should be speaking, that they should profit those who are hearing.

(Vers. 18) “I thank God that I speak in the language of every one of you.” Seeing that he stated to speak in languages as being the higher gift of the holy Spirit, for that reason he assigns to God that he was to be able to speak in every language. And lest by chance a competitor was appearing to speak this by means of jealousy, he indeed shows himself to speak in the languages of all of these and because it does not greatly benefit.

(Vers. 19) “But in the Church,” it is said, “I wish to speak five words according to the Law that I may also build up others than ten thousand words in a tongue.” He [Paul] says it to be more useful speaking in small words in the making of a speech in order that everyone should understand than to have a lengthy speech in obscurity. [Col. 270] These were from the Hebrew who at length in the Syrian language and for the most part by Hebrew women who were indulging in homilies or presentations for approval. For they were boasting calling themselves Jews according to the right of Abraham, that the same apostle held this to no account teaching, “But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Galatians 6:14). Indeed these ones who are mimicking, they prefer to speak in their unknown language to the people in the Church which belongs to them.19

(Vers. 20) “Brothers, do not wish to produce [things] by the senses of a child but let one be in malice of childhood that you would be perfect in senses.”20 He wishes those to be perfect, that they are to understand that it is to be necessary for the instruction of the Church. The ones who are withdrawing from malice and errors, they were eager for these things which they were accomplishing for the benefit of the brothers.21 For this is perfect in sense that he urges it in order that he should be useful to anyone, especially with the brothers.

(Vers. 21) In the law it was written,22 “Because in other languages and in other lips I will speak to this people and they still will not here me, says the Lord” (Isaiah 28:11). The Lord spoke this about this that He knew these ones would not believe in the Saviour. For speaking in other languages and in other lips the New Testament is to be preached as Jeremiah the prophet says: “Behold the days will come, says the Lord, and I will accomplish the New Covenant to the house of Israel and to the house of Judah, not according to that which I made with their fathers” (Jeremiah 31:31). It is this, for the method had been altered to speak in a different way which they themselves had the words of the old law. When they hear to release the Sabbath, the new moon being purged, to be free of circumcision, to be altering the sacrifices, to be permitting foods which have been prohibited to eat a little while ago, preaching Christ the God of God.23 This is speaking in other languages and other lips. And so neither did the faithless want to listen to God. Thus one is able also to understand that because many of the Jews were spiteful and therefore it was not worthy to speak to them the Gospel in a revelation, that they spoke to them in parables, and therefore that it is not being shown to them who are the ones who understand because they were wicked neither also would they reform themselves. While the ones who have merit24 were benefitting themselves to hear the words of God by means of the the exposition. From whence the disciples say to the Lord: “Lord, why do you speak to those in parables?” (Matt. 13:10).25 And the Lord, “because it was given to you”, it says, “to know the mystery of the kingdom of God, but not to those, that those who do see, are not to see, and those who hear are not to understand” (Matt. 13:11 and 13 [parts]).26 Lest the unworthy ones would secure salvation that these ones judged achievement according to their own merit, neither in any way did the ones who had been driven back to God want to make amends.

(Vers. 22) “Therefore languages they are as a sign.” It is this, the words of God have been concealed by a veil of unknown languages, nor do they appear by deceit, and when the unknown languages are being heard, it is to be a sign, because it was made on account of faithlessness, lest the ones hearing are to understand. “By all means it is not for those who believe, but for the non-believers.”27 [Col. 271] This is what he said, because they go on in languages to the unbeliever28 for the purpose of hiding the meanings. “but prophecy is not for the disobedient but for those who believe.” This is, it is not relevant for the believers to hear a language which they should not understand. But to the unbeliever, they are not worthy to understand even as Isaiah the prophet Isaiah says, “Go and say to this people, you will able to listen by hearing and you will not understand, etc.,” (Isaiah 6:9).

(Vers. 23) “If the whole Church will come together as one and they are to speak in every language, but when infidels or common persons are to enter, will they not say because you are mad?” It is clear that if everyone is to speak in diverse languages, a certain undisciplined commotion of the people occurs as if the madness of suffering.29

(Vers. 24, 25) “But if everyone is to prophecy, and moreover any infidel or uneducated is to enter, being rebuked in all, being proved false in all, the secrets of his heart are made manifest. Then at that time this one who falls on [his] face will pay homage to God, proclaiming that God is among you.” For when he understands and is being understood, the ones who hear are praising God and giving glory to God, he discerns [it] to be true and is bound to give homage in worship, by which he sees nothing to carry-on according to colour, nothing according to darkness, just as [it is] with the pagans, to which the eyes are veiled from. Not that they can call those ones who can see sacred, they see for the purpose to be making sport30 with their various foolish ways. For all who desire the dark corners of deceit also demonstrate false things instead of true ones. For that reason there is nothing crafty, [and] nothing under the veil, but simply one God is to be praised. “From whom they are all things, and one Lord Jesus Christ by whom is all things” (I Cor. 8:6). For if it is being shown whether no one exists who is to understand or rather by that [situation] itself he is being brought to nothing, one is able to say that there exists a certain separation and emptiness which therefore is being sung in languages because it is of shame.

(Vers. 26) “What is it then brothers? When you come together each one of you has a song.” That is they are speaking praise to God through song.31 “He has a teaching.” This is, he has a narration of the meaning by spiritual wisdom. “He has a revelation.” That is, prophecy regarding the hidden things by the agency of the holy Spirit is a basis for discussion which reaches to the mind of every person. “He has a language.” That those who were able to speak in a language, they were not to be discouraged, he permitted them to speak in languages. Still yet interpretation was to follow. He therefore says, “He has an interpretation.” That if an interpreter32 was to be present, a spot was to be given belonging to those preparing to speak in languages.

“Let all things be done for the edification of the Church.” This conclusion is that no one is to be useless in the Church, and this to the greater extent the one who is bound to exert himself, that even the unskilled ones are to contribute. Neither that it is to be through the inexperience of a gloomy person.33 Therefore for that reason he wishes all persons who have been prepared to come together with the diverse spiritual gifts, in order that the minds are watchful for these ones in greed, encouraging each other in turns, they were to emulate the best gifts for the glory of the brothers.

(Vers. 27) “If any speaks in a language, by two, or at the most three and specifically that one shall interpret,”34 This is, two or three and no more are to be speaking in languages but one at a time, not each at the same time. Lest they were to appear to be insane. “at the most three.” Lest the ones speaking in languages and their translations were to occupy the day and prophets do not have the time explaining the Scriptures which they are illuminators of the whole Church.

[Editors note: There is a substantial shift in vocabulary, grammar and style begins after verse 27 until the end of this chapter. It is often incoherent and hard to follow as a translator. I have left parts of the following in a machine-translation state. The remainder of this chapter from verse 28 on is not guaranteed for complete accuracy]

(Vers. 28) “That if there would be no interpreter, let him be silent in the Church. He is to speak to himself and to God.” This is, let him silently pray inside himself or he is to speak to God who hears all [any type of] silence. For the person ought to speak in the Church which should be profitable for everyone.

(Vers. 29) “For two or three prophets are to speak, and others are to examine or to inquire.”35 He insisted the method itself by which it was about to be asserted, “Two or three are to speak.” However each one at a time as above. While the others are entrusted to examine those who come in a doubtful state, or those whom anyone cannot understand, whose characters have been turned away, in order that they are to make clear to be an impostor in the discussion.36

(Vers. 30) “That if it [any thing] would be a revelation to someone else who is sitting, the first is to be silent.” That is, [it is] preferable he is to allow for the one below [his status] in order that if he is able, he should speak. Not that it is to be done reluctantly, because the gift can be given also to that person. While he appears to be inferior because he has not been allowed for more useful things. For just as the whole cannot be parceled out in one, although better, it cannot be for some, however much inferior [they are] that nothing is being imparted [to them], for no one is devoid [of some type of gift] in the grace of God.

(Vers. 31) “For you are all to prophecy by each one at a time, that all are to learn, and all are to be encouraged.” This tradition is of the Synagogue which he wishes us to continually follow because he is certainly writing to Christians but to those who have been reared Gentiles, not from the Jews. That the ones that remain37 are possibly debating, seniors with rank according to the throne, attending on the tribune’s seats, the most extraordinary on the pavement above the mats.38 If anyone would be [in] a revelation, the one that must be gifted is to receive in advance a designated place, neither one ought to be looked down upon, because they are the members of the body.

(Vers. 32) “And the spirit of prophets is39 subject to the prophets.” Namely because it is one and the same Spirit, that to such a degree by the prophets who are speaking about the future that they who reveal the Scriptures [are] by the same [prophets], he mixes each one [together] with the reckoning and character of the original sources, for that reason he said; “is subject to prophets.” It was for the purpose to illuminate the natural tendencies from this expectation because the Spirit is to encourage useful endeavors. For he comes to assist a matter which is about to be expounded-on for the optimal desire nearest to God. That he is to fulfill the will of the noblest intention. For instance the same thing was also written concerning the Saviour. “for they were drinking of of the spiritual rock which follows, for the rock was Christ.”40 This is, that also [those] being the subject, which are also being followed, for he was following, that with those who are failing by human standards, he was to draw near to provide help. Therefore the one having been made subject of the Spirit was being called that it was to help the noblest attempts, when he furnishes, for the one having been made subject appears that he completes in the beginning one or the other.

[Col. 273] (Vers. 33) “For he is not the author of dissension but of peace.”41 Because he is then the author of peace, by which the Saviour is saying, “My peace I give to you, peace I leave with you” (John 14:27).42 No one is not to govern the other one [from] speaking, nor should one be obliged for speaking, the eagerness is bound to be contradicted, that it is resisted, lest it potentially makes for discord in the body. Namely which those being called upon in peace, they ought to be eager in patience, lest the laws of peace be unbound. “Even as I teach in all the Churches of the saints.”43 With this assertion he encourages them, that he anticipates in advance what they are doing, when similarly he shows himself to preach in the Churches of the saints.

(Vers. 34) “Your women are to remain silent in the Church.”44 Now he relates what he had overlooked namely just as he instructs the women to cover-up45 in the Church (I Cor. 11:5), in a manner that shows they are peaceful and modest. It is worth the trouble that they are being covered. For if man is in the image of God, [it is] not with the woman, and has been subjected under the male in the law of nature; how much greater ought they to be subject in the Church on account of respect of him [of the male], that it had been entrusted of these that the leader is of a man as well. “Namely, it is not being permitted for them to speak, but to be in silence, as also the law says.”46 What does the law say? “Your change is to your husband, and he will be master over you.”47 This law is special. From this source Sara was calling her husband Abraham, lord, and by this they are being ordered to be in silence, lest the decree be diminished in what has been said above in the law, of whom mindful of Sarah, she was subject to her husband, as it was written, however much it is to be one flesh (Gen. 2:24), but it is being commanded to be subject as as result of two reasons, because she is from man and entered into sin through the female gender.

(Vers. 35) “On the other hand if they want to learn anything, let them ask their husbands at home, for it is shameful for women to speak in Church.” It is shameful, because it is against the teaching that in the Church of God, he instructs that the women are to be subject to their husbands who assume to speak on matters of the law. While they understand the man is to have the highest rank in that place and more competent than themselves, that in the house of God they are to be idle with requests, holding back [their] speech. They are to lay open [their] ears that they are to listen in such a way the mercy of God has conquered death through Christ, who had become king over the women. For if they should intend to speak in the Church, it is a dishonour, for that reason because they are being covered-up in order that they are to appear humble. This matter, when they demonstrate shamefulness themselves that it is also a reproach to husbands, for likewise the husbands are being marked according to the haughtiness of [their] wives.

(Vers. 36) “Can it be the word of God had proceeded from you or can it be it came for you only?”48 They are words of accusing, namely like they had become pompous, as if this status was to have been promised for themselves and from the apostles who are preaching, by their example the rest of the gentiles were to be called to the faith whether they were to be some who were able to receive the grace of God. Namely, they were boasting about themselves as if they were granted a greater privilege than they were to receive, these ones are adding to the faith, from which he says, “Or did the word of God come for you only.”49 For everyone who wants to acquire something which he knows [is] not to be needed by someone, while in some form he approaches to the acquisition with disgust, as if it is a better benefit by selling. For that reason this Apostle argued in regards to the Corinthians that they were showing themselves of such a great many things in the glorification of foolishness, as if these one were not to be listening to the words of the faith, that no one who were to be believing were to be that [way] even as to the Jews he says, “It was necessary to you first to speak the words of this life. But because you rebuffed it, undeserving are you who are preparing for eternal life. Behold, we turn to the gentiles” (Acts 13:46).50

(Vers. 37) “If any are being esteemed to be a prophet or spiritual, let him recognize what I write to you, that they are commandments of the Lord.” This teaching touches on the above having been mindful of the false apostles by which they have been corrupted, who are not divinely inspired for the needs of men, but they were teaching earthly things. For that reason in this place he teaches it is no value to deliver his own personal opinion, but of the Lord, that to anyone who are to pursue securing favour are not to give glory to men but to God,51 by which confidence he also continually preaches, possessing a free conscience because he does not want to please men but God. From which he does not behave unseemly with sinners so that that they may grow up, but also he admonishes so that they may desist [from sin].

(Vers. 38) “But if anyone does not know, he will not be known.” More correctly that the one who exists who does not know of the Lord which the Apostle speaks about, he will be not known by the Lord in the day of judgement, when the Lord says, “Amen I say to you, I do not know you” (Math. 25:12).

(Vers. 39) “On account of that brothers, cherish the ambition of prophesying.”52 As much as you will, he is to argue these things and blames and chastises about many things,53 because they had pulled-away from that tradition by him. Yet he still calls them brothers because Isaiah says to the people of the the Lord: “Say to them, they do not rightly walk in my ways, you are our brothers” (Isaiah 66:5).54 That then one was to take comfort with such a thing said after reproofs, [because] he calls them brothers. And he urges for the ambition of prophecy in order that they were to be more prepared with the constant debate and explanation of the divine law [and] that they could learn to identify the perverse things that it are the preachings of false-apostles.

“And be unwilling to prohibit speaking in languages.” And this by means of charity, that whoever can speak in languages, if an interpreter would be at hand, they are not to be forbidden, it is not to be causing dissension.

(Vers. 40) “Moreover let all things be honourably done and according to order.” This is, according to the order which was stated above. For that is to be honourably done because it is being done in peace and instruction.■

Translated from the Latin text found in MPL. Vol. 17. Ad. Opera S. Ambrosii Appendix. Comment. In Epist. Ad I Cor. Col. 257ff

Previous: I Corinthians 13 from the Ambrosiaster text.

The Latin Ambrosiaster text can be found at The Ambrosiaster Latin text on I Corinthians 12-14

A Translation of I Corinthians 12 from the Ambrosiaster Text

This is a preliminary translation of the Ambrosiaster Latin text, I Corinthians chapters 12.

For introductory notes on this translation along with commentary go to: Notes on Translating Ambrosiaster’s Corinthians 12-14.

Comment. In. Epist. I ad Corinthios 12

(Vers. 1-2) “Moreover concerning spiritual things I do not wish you to be ignorant. You know that you were heathens, these ones are following the appearance of idols, even as you were being led.”1 The spirits, the person who will surrender to those, he is mindful of an earlier way of life; that just as they were in the form of images, worshiping idols, and were being led by the guide [and] will of demons. So also the ones worshiping God, they are to exist with the form of the law of the Lord, these ones march as if it is to be pleasing with the Lord. In fact the form of every piece of the law ought to appear in the occupation and the behaviour of the worshiper. Namely, the above form and image is of the law of God.

(Vers. 3) “On this account which I make known to you that no one by speaking in the Spirit of God says anathema to Jesus. And no one can say the Lord Jesus except by the holy Spirit.” Seeing those who are unaware of matters concerning spiritual things, more importantly with mankind which they were giving God the glory by means of every single one of the gifts, these ones have not been understood the gift to be supplied through the holy Spirit. And because everyone who calls the Lord Jesus, he does not say this without the holy Spirit, in fact he possesses the grace of his own faith within him personally. Namely one cannot say the Lord Jesus without the gift of God. And it demonstrates through this that there is to be praise and gratitude in all things of God. That2 just as the image of idols is in accordance with its servants, having its own order through each part of the ranks, it is still wholly by men. Therefore also the rank of the gifts are with the office of the Church by the law belonging to the Master, certainly they have not been granted by human merit. But while the the members which are pertaining to the edification of the Church that through one another and in each other they have glory, just like it is as well in human service. For instance there are scholae3 who give unto themselves worth with having been set into a position. While the honour of a position may give glory, [it is] one’s own praise. As it then says, “No one by the Spirit of God says anathema to Jesus” (I Cor. 12:3). For the voice that says anathema to Jesus has been proved4 with human error. For whatever has been falsified is by man. “And no man can say the Lord Jesus, but by the Holy Ghost”5 (I Corinthians 12:3). For the expression itself which the Lord Jesus is being shown, not by the prostrating of men and such as they summon the image of a god. But the holy Spirit has been poured out by means of the truth. Whatever truth is being spoken by whoever, it is spoken by the holy Spirit. So that they were not then to esteem the favour of men in regards to the Christian example and they were clearly not enough to prove by means of this itself, just as it is also in the likeness (I mean inventions by man when God is being called who is not and through this the priests have been subjected by them). For it demonstrates by them that their is no human benefit with them when the Lord Jesus is being called. But the greater gift of God, which its mystery has been deemed worthy to be made known to mankind.

And indeed the declaration itself acquires forgiveness of sins like the formal speech of idols magnifies. Therefore it points out these things because they do not perform a betterment in religion saying “Lord Jesus” yet they receive. Nor should they consider favour by the manner of human idols with regard to the law of the Lord, when God is called upon who does exist.

Finally the ones who do not realize that the gift of God is that which is in accordance with faith; every single6 person has chosen for themselves whom they follow, saying, “I am of Paul, and I am of Apollo” (I Corinthians 1:12). He humbles the haughtiness of these people, that they undergo themselves, like I said, to prove.

(Vers. 4) “Now there are diversity of graces”7 Not that one wishes to ascribe this to human merit, but the favour of God for the purpose of honouring His name, namely just as that one says “Lord Jesus” says by the holy Spirit, of what kind of force it is. So also has the grace of such a power it is having been set in the place of the order of the office of the Church. By all means not special, but of an order by the power of the holy Spirit. From whence also he says from the beginning,8 “Neither he who waters is anything nor he who plants, but God is the one who gives the growth” (I Corinthians 3:7).

(Vers. 5, 6) “But the same Spirit. And there are the diversity of ministries.” He says diverse gifts are to be exhibited by the same Spirit. “The same Lord. And there are diversity of operations.” (I Corinthians12:6) For he joins Christ to the holy Spirit. “But the same God who works all in all.” (I Corinthians 12:6). In such a thing it is not to be granted with these men, as if it would be [their] very own, but God plants in alone. In order that he may say as well the work [is] the gift of the holy Spirit and the grace of the Lord Jesus of the one God. No grace and gift has been divided according to the characters of the Father, Son and the holy Spirit. But of indistinguishable unity and threefold nature one work is being realized, that he should render all glory and divine excellence to the one. “And there are divisions of graces”9 in offices of the Church, not having been assigned by human merit. For if the holy Spirit is similarly God and the Lord is similarly God and the one God is three. In fact seeing that the glory and power and nature of the holy Spirit is of God and the Lord Jesus is the same in nature which God is, certainly one is the the holy Spirit, and the Lord Jesus and the Father God. And indeed one God belonging to each and three one God.

Finally by one work, three are being named to be functioning. That the mystery of the Trinity should be confined in one God in nature and power.

(Vers. 7) “Moreover to each one the manifestation of the Spirit was given for an advantage.” That is, one receives the gift that his own life which is being directed by the divine rope and to each other and others would be useful while it demonstrates the example of good behaviour.

(Vers. 8 ) “To one indeed, by the Spirit, is given the word of wisdom.”10 That is for the purpose that he may bestow a cure for the sick or diseased.

(Vers. 9-10) “Others faith in the same Spirit”. It says this, that by the faith which is bound to be proclaimed and delivered, firmly planted in humility, one is to be able to receive the ability. “Others work of mighty works.” It signifies to be given the ability for demons to be cast out, or a sign which is to be brought about. “Others Prophecy.” That is, the one having been filled by the holy Spirit would speak about the future. “Others discernment of spirits.” This says that the one who should understand or appraises, who is being so-called, can it be either through the holy Spirit or worldly person? “Other kinds of languages, others interpretation of speech.” It is to be interpreted, that their words which they were speaking in languages or letters it is to be accurately interpreted through the gift of God.

(Vers. 11) “But all these things, one and the same Spirit worketh, dividing to every one according as he will.”11 Because he says the greatest of the three persons now is being declared to be delivered through the one holy Spirit. That because they are of one nature and power because one performs the three performs.12 Nevertheless one is God, whose grace is being divided into individuals, even as he wishes, not by human merit, but instead for the edification of His own Church. That all that the world wishes to be imitating but yet does not satisfy because that is of the flesh. These are to be seen in the Church, which is the house of God, having been granted with the parts of separate pieces, gift and governance of the holy Spirit among them for the approval of truth which are worthless to the world.

(Vers. 12-13) “For as the body is one and has many members and all the members from one body, seeing that they are many, one body they are, therefore it is also in Christ. And indeed in one Spirit we all have been baptized in one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free. We all drank the one Spirit.”13 He teaches through these things that not one person as it were who has been looked down ought to be despised and nor any other as it were has been perfected ought to be given preference, nor glory, which ought to be given to the only God which must be allotted by mankind. Since one in all also the same God is glorious. Naturally while we have all and one baptism and one and also the same holy Spirit. This reason on account of having been said before, which they were priding themselves in something else, just as certainly they were despising worthless things.

(Vers. 14) “For the body is also not one member but many” This is saying he demonstrates unity to have varieties of offices and this difference does not disagree in regards to the oneness of power. Since the unity of the body did not come about in singleness but in many members, that they perform mutually among themselves, which they are obligated [to do].

(Vers. 15) “If the foot should say, because I am not a hand, I am not part of the body. Is it really therefore not belonging to the body?” That is, is it not possible for them who are fragile appear to be denied being part of the body among the brethren, because he is not capable?

(Vers. 16) “And if the ear should say, because I am not of the eye, I am not part of the body. Is it really therefore not belonging to the body?” Does it not ought to say this, who the least is among the small, is not critical to be reckoned of the body, therefore he is not to be what [is] according to the first ranks?

(Vers. 17) “If the whole body be the eye, where is the hearing? If the whole thing is the hearing, where is the smelling? That is, if all are to be of one office and work; in what way is the remaining need of the body to be fulfilled, when it is made clear by the many offices that the work is near the steering oars14 of the body?

(Vers. 18) “But now God has set the members each one in the body, as he desired.” The will of God, which is characterized by forethought and powers of reasoning, it says that the members of the body adjust in order that nothing lacks in the body but also is to bring about perfection in the many members.

(Vers. 19) “For if they had been all one member, where is the body?” It is clear that if they were to have been of one position, they would have not been named members, nor a body. Therefore for that reason as well are to be joined together15 in the various parts of the members. For all would not be able to be that one member. Then on the other hand they are many, because they spread out from each other in self-respect.

(Vers. 20) “There are many members indeed, yet one body.”16 He says this because many members, while they are to reciprocally need one another, they do not differentiate in the unity of nature although they are separate, because this diversity agrees as one in order that the benefit of the body may be complete. Just as this [diversity] to which the world itself well knows too. Diverse they are not only in functions17 but also in natures. Yet they effect towards the perfection of the one18 world and from all this the proper mixture produces something in fruitful reward which they produce for the benefit of humanity.

(Vers. 21) “And the eye is not able to say to the hand: I do not need your help.” It is this, it cannot say [it is] more important than the lower one. It is not useful to me because the eye indeed sees but in fact the hands remain which are working. Or rather the head to the foot, “You are not to me of any necessity”. That is, the greater in rank and authority cannot exist without that, which is humility. Because it is that humility has the power which cannot exalt because it empowers the uncultivated,19 with respect to which it cannot hear. And by this the feet accomplish the honour of the head.

(Vers. 22) “But much more that the members of the body who appear to be weak ones, they are necessary.” It is clearly shown that no matter how any things shall be exalted in worth, nevertheless if the object having been made lacks which makes its glory in its own confidences, its own honour will be worthless. For it is the function, by which the worth consists of. So it would be like lacking armies to the emperor. Although yet he may be a wise emperor, it is still necessary to have an army. It is a member of his body, before having tribunes, officials20, and experts. The soldiers are the least to all these and they are more necessary. Like members of the body which while they appear last, they are more advantageous. For the hand works without the eyes and the foot walks searching for nourishment.

(Vers. 23) “And such we think to the most ignoble members of the body, we place to those more abundant honour.” It has been similarly understood, because those who are being reckoned [Col. 262] to be without dignity we find in their case that we praise them just as also in the members of the lowest rank. For which the hands are with regard of honour, when we want, we grasp! For this reason also we add doing honour to them, let that one think by the foot.21 Someone that are insignificant and without worth, we dress with shoes. “and who are our degraded ones, they have more abundant honour.”22 It is evident because our shameful ones who appear disgusting, while they themselves avoid public appearance they are clothed in integrity, that not through irreverence do they have a rough appearance. In a similar way also certain brothers when they would be in need and in the condition of a degraded appearance, they are still not without grace, that is through which they are members of our body. For they are in the practice of having been girded with a gloomy garment [and] to walk with a bare foot. Therefore when they seem more worthless, they are more in esteem, because they are accustomed to have a life of moral purity.23 For these who appear looked down upon by man, it is a habit to be judged beautiful by God.

(Vers. 24) “But those who our distinguished ones lack nothing.” It was explained that a person does not lack, neither face, nor hand, that he is being improved with these which they are adorned with. Thus also in the brotherhood in which some study in expertise and the distinguished in the realm of practical experience thrive, nothing is being added24 to ourselves.25 For the due honour is being rendered to those. A truly necessary action of encouragement for the low or insignificant ones, through whom some honour is being added to these ones, in order that they may become useful. If not that, the ones who are indifferent would be more concerned about themselves than with the despised one.

(Vers. 25) “But God combined the body to him for which was lacking, to be granted the more abundant honour. And not should be a separation in the body, but the members should be mutually about concern [for each other].” Thus he says the human body has been controlled by God that all of His members should be essential ones. And through these as with mutual concern with each other because some without the other that is not possible and everyone reckoned inferior is more needed. Just as it has been explained about the brothers, even for the purpose of a discussion that no one ought to look down on as it were the helpless ones.

(Vers. 26) “And if any one member suffers, every member suffers [together].” This which belongs to the members of the body of the flesh is not ambiguous, because if the eye, or the foot, or the hand is to take hold in any affliction of sickness, the whole body suffers greatly, so that he teaches us to suffer with the brethren, [that is] if anybody will appear of such a way or need. “Or if one member is being uplifted then every member rejoices together.” It is clear that happy is head or the other members, if the feet have been taken care of or [are] healthy. Thus we ought to become cheerful ourselves, if we see any brother who has interest of God, and abundance in integrity of morals. This is to be sound in judgement.

(Vers. 27) “You are the body of Christ and [col. 263] members from the member.” He openly points out our own responsibility to discuss by the account of the members of the flesh, because we are not able [to do] everything the same but of each one according to the nature of the faith and we possess the grace which has been granted.

(Vers. 28) “And God has set certain one in the Church, indeed first the apostles.” Thus he set the leader in regards with the Church that they officers of Christ, just as the Apostle likewise says, “For by which we participate as an ambassador” (II Cor. 5:20). They are in that place bishops, by the declaration of Peter the apostle, and by the orders on the other hand from the Jews. “And the office of the bishop, let another take” (Acts 1:20).

“Secondly prophets.” We should understand prophets in a twofold sense both speaking26 concerning the things about to be, and revealing the Scriptures. However Apostles should be also prophets because the first rank has every subject. In fact the most wicked Caiphas on account that he was the chief priest, prophesied (John 11:51), certainly by the cause of rank, not of personal merit. Nevertheless they were specifically prophets both interpreters of Scriptures,27 and speaking about the future as Agabus was, who had prophesied the ruins and imprisonments to be about this Apostle in Jerusalem (Acts 21:11),28 and foretold the famine, which happened under Claudius (Acts 11:28). Yet for that reason he would become the most useful apostle, still sometimes he needs a prophet.

“Third teachers.” That he says the teachers who, since the epistles and the readings out loud [and traditions]29 must be preserved in the Church, were giving the young men initial instruction in the custom of the synagogue because the tradition of these people, it was prepared to be brought over to us.

In the fourth position it is to be: “Then powers,30 then the grace of healings”. For any who can [do this] as having in him the gift of the power of soundness of health are not to be a Bishop. “Helps, governments”. That he may be vigilant in understanding divine matters. So nevertheless that in any others which it is not being granted to be filled up, he should obtain through another [person] in respect to which he does not have because the whole cannot be granted to one. There are also governors who are in keeping the spiritual things together in human instructions. “Kinds of languages”. That the gift of God is to know many languages.31 “Interpretation of words.”32 When this is granted to some by the grace of God that he has the expertise of languages which require translations.

(Vers. 29) “Can it be all are apostles?” The reality is that one Bishop is in the Church. “Can it be all are prophets?” It is not ambiguous, it is not to be granted the prophetic to everyone. “Can it be all are teachers?” That is a teacher, to whom it is to be granted to teach others.

(Vers. 30) “Can it be all are powers?” This one is able to possess the power, to whom God gives to expel demons. “Can it be all have the gift of healings?” How could he do it that all should have the gift of healings? “Can it be all are speaking in languages?” Certainly not, except one who receives the gift in this matter. “Can it be that all interpret?” The person is able to interpret words to whom God gives. For the sense has been said before, this must be inserted. In fact he had explained by the reckoning which had been rendered, that everyone is to have the diverse graces and it is not that anyone be granted the whole thing by example of the members. For by the example of the fleshly body he insinuates the spiritual body and through this in all things God must be praised, and in the name of this one must be glorified of whom is grace. We furthermore arrive at this reckoning in the natural science33 realm. For while gold is better than silver, yet more in use is silver. And while brass is necessary, yet the need is more in iron. For while it is inferior one makes no household goods without iron.

(Vers. 31) “Be zealous of the better gifts”. After this he sums up with regards to the subjects. “I will explain to yet a more excellent way”. He carries those step by step for a good purpose, showing those the grace of every gift which has been said before that is seen in mankind, whether speaking, or healing, or prophesying, that it is not to be related to the person’s merit, but to the honouring of God. Therefore for that reason now he says to show more plainly the way with those ones themselves who are being passed to heaven whose merit gathers together with God. Because on the other hand having been said before that one cannot always reach out by merit. The Saviour says, “Many are going to say to me in that day”, that is [the day] of judgement, “Lord, Lord, had we not prophesied in your name and in your name we had cast out demons and we performed great powers?” (Matt. 7:22). And because this does not extend by merit, but they are functions of the Church in response34 to the confusion of the gentiles and the honour of God which must be bourne witness to, the Lord says to them, “Withdraw from me, I never knew you, workers of iniquity.”35 Namely by the axe36, because the work of God was being examined with regard to those ones, who have no concern for consequences in respect to themselves. For instance too with the 72 disciples who are rejoicing because the demons have been placed under them [their authority]. the Saviour says, “Let not one wish to rejoice in this, that the demons are subjected to you, but rejoice in this that your name has been written in heaven.” (Luke 10:20).

In what way is it not37 because they have been subjected in the name of God not by human merit? And in what way now does that not happen so, that men have the grace of God? It was required to do during the beginning times in order that the foundations of the faith were to receive strength but now it is not needed because people lead people to the faith when they see their good works and simple preaching.■

Next: I Corinthians 13 from the Ambrosiaster Text.

The original Latin copy used for this translation can be found here: The Ambrosiaster Latin text on I Corinthians 12-14

The Last Name of Christ

A look at the historic family name of Jesus, Panthera, and the modern debate that surrounds it.

The last name debate is part of a quest to define the historical Jesus through alternative sources other than the Bible or standard Christian literature. The exploration of the historical Jesus has produced a variety of conclusions, such as the tortured image in the movie “The Passion of Christ”, the sexually angst Messiah in the controversial “Last Temptation of Christ”, the married Jesus portrayed in the ABC television special, “Jesus, Mary and Davinci”, and the illegitimate son of a foreign soldier in the film “Jesus of Montreal”,.

Jesus had a last name known as Pantherus, which was not a big deal within ecclesiastical or Talmudic literature, but has become a big deal with some modern writers and researchers.

People universally believe that Jesus Christ is His first and last name. However, Christ is an honorific title assigned to Him. It is not His last name. Others would describe Him as Jesus of Nazareth. This is a nickname, not the last name. A few would conjecture Jesus son of Joseph or of Mary. Either one of these could be correct, but there is a third option that is supported by history, Jesus Panthera.

The first known use, and variations of the name

There are variations of the Pantherus name such as Panterus, Pandira, Panthera, etc., This has to do with the transitions between Greek, Latin, Hebrew, English, and ancient author spellings. This will be explained below.

Origen first served the name as Panthera (Πανθήρα).1 One Epiphanius manuscript posits this name as Panther.2 While a later citation of Epiphanius has it as Pantheros (Πάνθερος) which the Latin parallel translation renders as Pantherus.3 There are two Aramaic forms; the first one is Pandira or Pandera from פנדירא, and the second is either transliterated as Panthera or Pantera from פנטירא. פנדירא Pandira is more commonly found at the popular available texts examined though פנטירא Pantera occurs far less frequently. For the purpose of this study, the most commonly used English equivalent Panthera will be the descriptive noun.

How do we know His last name was Panthera?

Origen, John of Damascus, Epiphanius and controversially some small snippets from Jewish literature freely use this last name in connection with Jesus. The Church fathers do not dispute such usage, whereas there is controversy within the Jewish literary traditions. The following is a closer look at how this last name was introduced in the ancient works, how it has evolved in usage, and the contemporary debates surrounding the surname.

Origen on the last name of Jesus.

Origen lived in the third-century. He is considered one of the most comprehensive writers of the earlier Church. The name Panthera is part of a debate between himself and an author named Celsus. We do not know much about Celsus today, except for what is contained in Origen’s work. We know from Origen that he was not a Christian and wrote a polemic against Christianity. He must have been popular because Origen devoted considerable time writing a treaty against his assaults.

Celsus was contesting the divinity of Christ, while Origen was supporting it. The last name was not incredulous to Origen, just the way it was being used.

Celsus argued that Jesus was the result of an adulterous relationship Mary had with a soldier named Panthera.

The original manuscript of Celsus does not independently exist today, except the excerpts found in Origen’s text. In it, he quoted Celsus about Jesus;

But let us now return to where the Jew is introduced, speaking of the mother of Jesus, and saying that “when she was pregnant she was turned out of doors by the carpenter to whom she had been betrothed, as having been guilty of adultery, and that she bore a child to a certain soldier named Panthera;” and let us see whether those who have blindly concocted these fables about the adultery of the Virgin with Panthera, and her rejection by the carpenter, did not invent these stories to overturn His miraculous conception by the Holy Ghost: for they could have falsified the history in a different manner, on account of its extremely miraculous character, and not have admitted, as it were against their will, that Jesus was born of no ordinary human marriage. It was to be expected, indeed, that those who would not believe the miraculous birth of Jesus would invent some falsehood. And their not doing this in a credible manner, but (their) preserving the fact that it was not by Joseph that the Virgin conceived Jesus, rendered the falsehood very palpable to those who can understand and detect such inventions.4

Epiphanius on Panthera.

But there is another clue. It is found in work called Against Heresies.5 The citation can also be found in a seventh-century work by Anastasios of Sinai called Questions and Answers.6

οὗτος μὲν γὰρ ὁ Ἰωσὴφ ἀδελφὸς γίνεται τοῦ Κλωπᾶ, ἦν δὲ υἱὸς τοῦ Ἰακώβ, ἐπίκλην δὲ Πάνθηρ καλουμένου· ἀμφότεροι οὗτοι ἀπὸ τοῦ Πάνθηρος ἐπίκλην γεννῶνται.

For thus on the one hand, Joseph was the brother of Cleopha, while on the other he was the son of Jacob, of whom additionally was called by the surname Panther. So that these two were born from the one surnamed Panthera.7

In other words, Joseph’s father, Jacob, was granted this surname by some unknown vested authority. The Greek surname was likely accepted by Jacob out of political or economic certainty. Gedaliah Alon, a historian specializing in the Second Jewish commonwealth, believed this was an era where Jews had little or no civic rights whatsoever in Palestine and to know the Greek language and culture provided a serious economic advantage.8 “Jews who lived or traded in the urban areas had to familiarize themselves with Greek, and to acquire at least some knowledge of things Hellenic.”9 Joseph was a carpenter — a trade potentially passed down by his father. In order to conduct business and be involved in community affairs, the Panthera surname would have been a significant economic advantage.

One could argue that the introduction of Panthera into his work was added much later by an editor or redactor after Epiphanius’ death. This could be true but given that the name is used by Origen already, this is probably not the case.

John of Damascus on Panther and Barpanther.

The eighth-century Church leader, John of Damascus, also recognized the Panthera lineage. He believed Mary to be a tribal relative of Panther. “Panther begat Barpanther, so called. This Barpanther begat Joachim: Joachim begat the holy Mother of God.”10 However the Barpanther lineage doctrine is not found in the Origen or Epiphanius texts. It is likely a later tradition.

The last name of Jesus in Jewish literature.

There are potential references to Jesus in the Talmud, but this is highly controversial.

The first problem is censorship. Jewish literature has historically been under antisemitic and theological pressure from the Church. This tension has paralleled Jewish existence for almost two millennia. Because of this, references to Jesus in Jewish literature have been blotted out, censored, removed, or written in cryptic terms. However, many supposed references removed have been restored.11 Even if one counts all the restored accounts, it does not amount to very much.

This same type of behavior can be found in early Christian literature towards the Roman Government. Very little negativity or direct criticism can be found towards the Government even when they deserved such condemnation.

The scant references that can be casually associated with Jesus and Christianity are highly debated. Jesus and Christianity in the Talmud is a study to itself. The focus here is solely on the name Panthera and how it fits in with the Jesus narrative.

Many claims are made with little reference to the source works themselves. This investigation includes the Jewish source texts. These include the original Aramaic text along with an English translation. Those readers not familiar with Aramaic are free to jump the originals and concentrate on the English.

The Targumic Dictionary.

Marcus Jastrow’s popular Targumic Dictionary seems to have the definitive answer. It refers to Jesus as “the son of Pandera”12 – a very obscure comment on first observation if there is no information available from any other source.

However this is a surface answer. The details make this assertion a difficult one to substantiate. Maybe it is referring to Jesus, maybe not.

Tosefta Hullin 2 is the closest to being a legitimate reference.

Gil Student’s popular website article on the subject, The Jesus Narrative In The Talmud, thinks Tosefta Hullin 2 is the only legitimate reference from ancient Jewish literature outside the Bible. The so-called Christian Hebraist, R. Trevor Herford, who is oft-quoted but little is known about this author, believed there were more. He demonstrates this in his book, Christianity in Talmud and Midrash.

The actual Tosefta Hullin passage:

Jacob Neusner translates it as:

Tosefta-tractate Hullin 2:23

Eleazar b. Damah was
bitten by a snake.
And Jacob of Kefar Sama came to
heal him in the name of Jesus son of Pantera
And R. Ishmael did not allow him [to accept the healing].
He said to him,
“You are not permtted [to accept healing from him], Ben Dama.”
He said to him,
“I shall bring you proof that he may heal me.”
But he did not have time to bring the [promised] proof before he dropped dead.

Tosefta-tractate Hullin 2:23

Said R. Ishmael,
“Happy are you, Ben Dama.
For you have expired in peace,
but you did not break down the hedge erected by sages
“For whoever breaks down the hedge erected by the sages
eventually suffers punishment,
as it is said,
“He who breaks down a hedge is bitten by a snake (Qoh. 10:8).”13

It may have been better to have only included the line concerning son of Pantera, but the whole reference is so interesting, I couldn’t leave out the rest.

If you are curious about the actual text, here it is. If you cannot read this language, feel free to skip, as this will not affect the full explanation.14

הלכה כב
מַעֲשֶׂה בְרַבִּי אֶלְעָזָר בֶּן דָּמָה,
שֶׁנְּשָׁכוֹ נָחָשׁ,
וּבָא יַעֲקֹב אִישׁ כְּפַר סַמָּא
לְרַפֹּאתוֹ מִשּׁוּם יֵשׁוּעַ בֶּן פַּנְטֵרָא
וְלֹא הִנִּיחוֹ רַבִּי יִשְׁמָעֵאל.
אָמְרוּ לוֹ:
“אֵי אַתָּה רַשַּׁי, בֶּן דָּמָה!”
אָמַר לוֹ:
“אֲנִי אָבִיא לָךְ רְאָיָה שֶׁיְּרַפְּאֶנּוּ!”
וְלֹא הִסְפִּיק לְהָבִיא רְאָיָה, עַד שֶׁמֵּת.

הלכה כג
אָמַר רַבִּי יִשְׁמָעֵאל:
“אַשְׁרֵיךָ בֶּן דָּמָה!
שֶׁיָּצָאתָ בְשָׁלוֹם,
וְלֹא פָרַצְתָּ גְּדֵרָן שֶׁלַּחֲכָמִים!”
שֶׁכָּל הַפּוֹרֵץ גְּדֵרָן שֶׁלַּחֲכָמִים,
לַסּוֹף פֻּרְעָנוּת בָּא עָלָיו,
שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: (קֹהֶלֶת י,ח)
“וּפֹרֵץ גָּדֵר יִשְּׁכֶנּוּ נָחָשׁ.”

Talmud Babli Sandhedrin 67a.

This passage begins the difficult journey into comparative Talmudic texts. The commonly used Aramaic version of Talmud Babli Sanhedrin 67a has no reference to Panthera in its main copy, though it is noted as an addition.15

Here is the text:

And this they did to Ben Stada in Lydda ([H]), and they hung him on the eve of Passover. Ben Stada was Ben Padira. R. Hisda said: ‘The husband was Stada, the paramour Pandira. But was nor the husband Pappos b. Judah? — His mother’s name was Stada. But his mother was Miriam, a dresser of woman’s hair? ([H] megaddela neshayia): — As they say in Pumbaditha, This woman has turned away ([H]) from her husband.16

Older manuscripts contain this complete verse, while newer ones do not. There is no reference to Stada or Pandira at all in the newer Talmud manuscripts. This has stirred controversy on a number of levels.

On the historical connection to Jesus, Gil Student describes three problems:

1. Mary Magdalene was not Jesus’ mother. Neither was Mary a hairdresser.
2. Jesus’ step-father was Joseph. Ben Stada’s step-father was Pappos Ben Yehudah.
3. Pappos Ben Yehudah is a known figure from other places in Talmudic literature. . . He died in the year 134. If Pappos Ben Yehudah was a contemporary of Rabbi Akiva’s, he must have been born well after Jesus’ death and certainly could not be his father.”17

There are a number of play-on-words in the Aramaic. It feels like a tongue-in-cheek reference.

This passage gets more mysterious when one looks at the calligraphy variation found in the Talmud Babli manuscript identified with Jerusalem, Yad Harav Herzo. The picture below shows something odd:18


As circled in yellow, וכן עשו לבן סטדא בלוד “And this they did to Ben Stada in Lydda,” is highlighted in a much in a larger and bolder style – more than any other text on the whole page. It is even larger than the headers for the titles Mishna and Gemara found on the page. The name Ben Stada is written a second time later on and is emphatic, but not so large as the first time. Why? What is the scribe trying to communicate by doing this? I really don’t know, but the scribe wanted to make sure that the reader captured the nuance of this text. The emphatic calligraphy wanted to alert the reader to something not normative. Whatever the intention was, it is not clear.

Another manuscript digitally available at the Hebrew University website, named Firenze, Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale has the Panthera text as well.19


However, you have to look hard to find this one. There is nothing unusual. It is a regular part of the text. The Latin marginalia needs to be examined. It may relate to the text in question. However, the resolution supplied by the University is too low to read it.

Various interpretations of Panthera.

Celsus’ testimony was received in a limited fashion until 1859 when the argument got some welcome assistance from an archaeological discovery in Germany. A grave of a Roman soldier named, Tib(erius) Iul(ius) Abdes Pantera, was uncovered. The tombstone had information that led to a connection with the ancient Lebanese city of Sidon–a place not far from Israel’s borders and which Jesus had visited.20

The date on the grave indicated the soldier lived around the same time as Christ walked on earth. Consequently, some connected the dots and believed the Panthera on the tomb may have been Christ’s real father.

The actual text reads:

Tib(erius) Iul(ius) Abdes Pantera
Sidonia ann(orum) LXII
stipen(diorum) XXXX miles exs(ignifer?)
coh(orte) I sagittariorum
h(ic) s(itus) e(st)

Tiberius Iulius Abdes Pantera
from Sidon, aged 62 years
served 40 years, former standard bearer(?)
of the first cohort of archers
lies here21

The concept that Jesus was the son of a soldier was reintroduced to contemporary thinkers by the famed novel writer James Joyce in Ulysses (1922) though it is only very brief, it may have been shocking for the large Christian community.22 The concept of Panteras may have been the intellectual fancy during this period as Hitler used this to believe that the historical Jesus was not of Jewish origin, but “the son of one Panthera, a Greek soldier in the Roman army.”23 In 1966, Marcello Craveri’s book, La vita di Gesù, connected the Roman soldier buried in Germany, Abdes Pantera, as being the father of Jesus.24

Scholars throughout the centuries have been puzzled by Jesus having the surname Panthera and have sought various methods to explain it. Some thought Panthera to be a mockery by the Jewish writers with the emphasis on its Aramaic root meaning “spots of a leopard,” an allusion to Jesus being a deceiver. Others have concluded that it sounded similar to the Greek word for virgin and must be understood this way.

Much ado about nothing.

The last name from a religious perspective is nothing shocking or revolutionary to the Church Fathers and the Jewish texts. None of the references deny the association of the Panthera name with the family of Christ. However, the mystery behind the name is the source of the controversy. A select few have used it for historic name-calling and a few but notable people have taken it further to mean that Jesus was an illegitimate child. It is difficult to assert this conclusion with a small handful of sentences and maybe 200 words – even more incredulous to make a connection of the life of Christ with a random tombstone found in Germany. This connection has as much a chance of being real as the James Ossuary — a funerary container with the dead bones of a person with the alleged inscription, “James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus” written on it and later concluded as a forgery.

The Panthera connection was known by the ancients and accepted without dispute. The subject is not significant in the big scheme of things as some are trying to make it out to be.

The Genealogy of Christ and Other Problems Part 2

Two Manuscripts attributed to Epiphanius on the family of Christ compared.

The fourth century Church father, Epiphanius, Bishop of Salamis, wrote an account on the family of Christ that has important information. It contains backgrounds of His mother, Father, family last name, siblings, intermarriage and more. Although it is brief, containing only a few paragraphs, it is an important source of history. However, it is controversial, especially in light of the fact that the text that Epiphanius is quoted from, Adversus Hæreses, has many later editorial insertions. Another text, Quæstiones first written around the seventh century, contains portions of Epiphanius account, and follows closer to the original edition.

Comparing these texts in the Greek and Latin also allows one to graph how the concept of Christ’s family had evolved over the centuries.

This study is twofold:

  • locate the Greek and Latin texts, digitally capture them, and provide English translations

  • analyze the Latin parallel translation, and trace how the traditions had perpetuated

The actual analysis, comparison, and summary can be found at a separate article, The Genealogy of Christ and Other Problems Part 1

The two manuscripts compared are:

  • Quæstiones. Not much is known about this writing. Tradition asserts that it was by St. Anastassi Sinaitae who lived in the 7th century, but this cannot be confirmed. It was originally published around the 7th century — though the edition available today may not entirely reflect the original. It can be confirmed that it is a medieval work that quoted from a better copy of Epiphanius than what we have today.

  • Adversus Hæreses originally penned by the 4th century Church father Epiphanius, Bishop of Salamis. The historic writing is properly known as the Panarion but the MPG version that is used here for the basis for whatever reason calls it Adversus Hæreses. It was originally written in the 4th century but this manuscript appears to have various interpolations and edits. The text has some portions that may be close to the fourth century, while others may be later, even up to the 8th century.

Enclosed is a text in the original Latin and Greek followed by an English translation along with critical notes by the author, Charles Sullivan.

Before reading please note:

  • It is important to include the Latin with its own parallel English translation. The Greek is not always straightforward and the Latin translator made some effort to clarify some difficult passages. It also demonstrates how the concept of Mary and Christ’s family had evolved from the time of the Greek Anastasii writer in the 7th century to the time of the Latin translator, which likely was in the 15th or later century.

  • The actual Latin and polytonic Greek have been typed in by myself. The Greek text input on this document outlines the problems, solutions and a disclaimer listed Notes on Ancient Greek Copy and this Website.


1. The Quæstiones Text on the three Marys, Joseph, and Siblings of Christ

MPG Vol. 89. St. Anastasii Sinaitæ. Quæstiones CLIII. Col. 839ff

Greek with English Translation

Ἐπειδἠ δὲ πολλῶν Μαριῶν ἐν τοῖς Εὺαγγελίοις φέρεται μνήμη, τρεῖς εἶναι τὰς πάσας γινώσκειν ὀφειλομεν, ἂς Ἰωάννης συλλήβὀην ἠριθμησεν, εἰπών· « Ειστήκεισαν δὲ παρὰ τῷ σταυρῷ τοῦ Χριστοῦ ἡ μήτηρ αὐτοῦ, καὶ ἡ ὰδελφὴ τῇς μητρὸς αὐτοῦ, Μαρία ἡ τοῦ Κλωπᾶ, καὶ Μαρία ἡ Μαγδαληνή. » Μαρίαν γὰρ τὴν Ἰακώβου καὶ Ἰωσὴ μητέρα, παρὰ τοῖς ἄλλοις εὐαγγελισταῖς ὠνὸμασμένην τὴν Θεοτόκον εἶναι μεμαθήκαμεν. ῎Ωσπερ γὰρ τὴν οὶκονομίαν, καὶ τὸ ἐπισκιασθῆναι τὸν θεῖον τὸκον, καὶ μὴ φανερωθῆναι τοῖς μιαιφόνοις Ἰουδαίοις, ὡς ἄνδρα τῆς Παρθένου χρηματίσαι τὸν Ἰωσήφ· ἀναγέγραπται καὶ πατερα τοῦ Ἰησου· οὔτως καὶ Ἰωσὴ καὶ Ἰακώβου παίδων ὄντων τοῦ τέκτονος Ἰωσὲφ ἐκ προτετελευτηκυιας γυναικὸς, μήτρ ἡ Θεοτόκος προσηγορεύετό τε καὶ ὠνομάζετο· ταύτῃ τοι καὶ Βλασφημοῦντες οἱ Ἰουδαῖοι κατὰ τοῦ Κυρίου, ἔλεγον· « Οὺχ οὗτος ἐστιν ὁ τοῦ τέκτονος υἱός ; οὺχ ἡ μήτηρ αὐτοῦ λέγεται Μαρια, καὶ οἱ ἀδελφοι αὐτοῦ Ἰάκωβος, καὶ Ἰωσὴ, καὶ Σίμων καὶ Ἰούδας ; » Καὶ διὰ τοῦτο ὁ μὲν Ἰωάννης τὴν παρὰ τὸν σταυρὸν ἑστῶσαν, οἷα δὴ μετὰ παῤῤησίας θεολογῶν, μητέρα τοῦ Κυριου προσηγόρευσεν· οἱ δὲ λοιποι τῶν εὐαγγελιστῶν, τὰ πολλὰ περὶ τὴν οὶκονομιαν ἀσχοληθεντες, οὶκονομικῶς αὐτην Ἰακώβου καὶ Ἰωσὴ ἐπωνόμασαν· αὐτοὶ γὰρ ἧσαν οἱ πρῶτοι καὶ ἐπίσημοι παῖδες τοῦ Ἰωσέφ. Ἔστι δὲ αὐτὴν παρὰ τοῖς εὐαγγελισταῖς, καὶ ὲκ τοῦ ἑνὸς μόνου τῶν παίδων τοῦ Ἰωσὲφ ὀνομαζομένην εὑρεῖν Μαριαν τοῦ Ἰακώβου, καὶ Μαριαν τοῦ Ἰωσή. Ὁ δὲ Μάρκος Ἰακώβου τοῦ μικροῦ καὶ Ἰωσὴ μητέρα εἶπεν αὐτην, ἐπείπερ ἦν καὶ ἄλλος Ἰάκωβος τοῦ Ἀλφαίου ἐκ τῶν δώδεκα.

For indeed concerning all the Marions are brought to memory in the Gospels, we are obligated to have made known all three of these names, which John briefly counted, by saying “And they stood near the cross of Christ, His mother, His mother’s sister, Mary Cleopha, and Mary Magdalene.”1 For the mother of James and Jose2 was Mary, we have come to understand according to those other evangelists that she is the one who is named the Theotikos.3

As the mystery of the incarnation4 and God-child had been kept secret, not being disclosed to the murderous Jews,5 as6 the title husband of the Virgin. It is written the father of Christ.

Even so Jose and James being sons of Joseph the Carpenter from a deceased7 wife, the mother who is the Theotikos was both called and named,8 and the Jews were blaspheming against against the Lord, they said, “Is this not the son of a carpenter? Is not His mother called Mary, and His brothers James, Jose, Simon and Judas?”9

On this account while they stood near the cross John named the mother of the Lord even10 openly in the midst11 of the holy ones12 standing near the cross.

For the remainder of the evangelists,13 these ones were engaged in the affairs of the household, they administratively designated her of James and Jose.

For these were the first and distinguished sons of Joseph. It is her by the evangelists, and [usually] only one of the children is she to be named from, that she is found Mary of James and Jose. For Mark called her the mother of James the Less and Jose, seeing that that another mentioned was James Alphaeus from the twelve.

Latin with English Translation

Cæterum cum in Evangeliis crebra mentio fiat de Mariis, nosse oportet tres hujus nominis fuisse, quas sanctus Joannes breviter his verbis enumeravit : « Stabant autem juxta crucem Jesu mater ejus, et soror matris ejus Maria Cleophae, et Maria Magdalene. » Marima enim Jacobi, et Joseph matrem, quam evangelistæ memorant, non alium quam ipsam Deiparam esse arbitramur. Quemadmdoum enim, ut mysterium incarnationis et divinus partus occultaretur, neque scelestis Judæis patefieret, Josephus pro marito beatæ Virginis et pro patre Christi habitus est; sie mater Josephi et Jacobi, cum filii essent Josephi fabri ex defuncta uxore, Diepara appellata est, cujus occasione struxerunt Judæi contra Dominum hance columniam : « Nonne hic est fabri filius? Nonne mater ejus dicitur Maria, et fratres ejus Jacobus, Josephus, Simon et Judas? » Ideirco Joannes eam, quæ juxta crucem stetit, libere appellavit matrem Dominin. Alii vero evangelistæ, circa Domini œconomiam et dispensationem potissimum occupati, Mariam Jacobi et Joseph nominarunt : isti enim erant primi et illustres filii Josephi, tematsi apud evangelistas uno interdum duntaxat filio appellationem accipit, ita ut dicatur Maria Jacobi, et Maria Josephi. Marcus autem vocavit eam Jacobi minoris, et Josephi matrem, quia alius erat Jacobus Alphaei unus ex duodecim.

Besides, a number of times is made mention of the Marions that are in the Gospels, we made it necessary about these three names which St. John briefly counted in these words, “They were standing near the cross of Christ, His mother, and His mother’s sister–Mary Cleopha, and Mary Magdalene”. Mary is the mother of James and Jose, which is brought to remembrance by the evangelists, none other than which we bear witness to be the Deiparam herself.

As it was hidden in the mystery of the incarnation and the divine part, neither was it layed open to the impious Jews, as Joseph was given in marriage to the Blessed14 Virgin and as the father of Christ.

The mother of Jose and Jacob at this time were sons of Joseph the carpenter from a deceased wife, from him she was named Deipara, on which occasion a plan was devised by the Jews against the Lord with this argument, “Is this not the son of a carpenter? Is not His mother called Mary, and His brothers James, Jose, Simon and Judas?

On account of this John who stood near the cross, freely called her the mother of the Lord.

The rest of the evangelists were concerned about the household affairs of the Lord and the highest office, they gave Mary the name of James and Jose.

These were the first and distinguished sons of Joseph, and notwithstanding she usually receives the name of only one son, so Mary of James, and Mary of Jose was affirmed. And Mark called her the mother of James the Less and Jose, for another was James Alphaeus one of the twelve.

A few sentences down the same manuscript is where things begins to get really interesting. The St. Anastasii author begins to quote directly from Epiphanius himself. When one compares the St. Anastasii writing to that of the Against Heresie’s manuscript, important differences are found. One of the clues suggest that the St. Anastasii quotation is from an older Epiphanius manuscript than that of Against Heresie’s.


2. The Quæstiones text on the Family and Surname of Christ

MPG Vol. 89. St. Anastasii Sinaitæ. Quæstiones CLIII. Col. 839ff

Greek with English Translation

Τοῦ ἀγίου Ἐπιφανίου ἐκ τῶν Παναριων.

Ὁ Ὶωσὲφ ἀδελφός ἦν τοῦ Κλωπᾶ· ἀμφότεροι γὰρ ἀπὸ Ἰακώβου τοῦ ἐπικλην Πάνθηρος γεννηθέντες. Ἔσχε δὲ ὁ Ἰωσὴφ γυναῖκα Σαλώμην ὲκ φυλῆς Ἰουδα, ὲξ ἧς ἐτέχθησαν αὐτῷ παῖδες ἕξ, τέσσαρες μὲν ἄῤῤενες, καὶ δύο θήλειαι. Καὶ ἧν πρωτότοκος Ἰάκωβος, ὁ ἐπικληθεις δίκαιος (εἶτα Ἰωσὴ καλούμενος), ἕπειτα Σιμεὼν, μεθ᾽ ὧν ὁ Ἰούδας, καὶ εἴθ᾽οὕτως ἡ Μαρία καὶ ἡ Σαλώμη. Ἡ δὲ Μαρία λαβοῦσα τὸν Κλωπᾶν ἄνδρα, ὡς ἀδελφὴ ἐχρημάτιζε τῆς Θεοτόκου Μαρίας. Ὅθεν φησὶν ὁ Ἰωάννης, « Είστήκεισαν δὲ παρὰ τῷ σταυρῷ τοῦ Ἰησοῦ ἡ μήτηρ αὺτοῦ, καὶ ἡ ἀδελφὴ τῆς μητέρος αὐτοῦ, Μαρία ἡ τοῦ Κλωπᾶ. »

From the Panarion of St. Epiphanius

Joseph was the brother of Cleopha. For these two were begotten from Jacob, surnamed Pantherus. For Joseph had a Solomaic wife from the tribe of Judah, six children were born from her for him, four males and two females.

And the firstborn was James, who was surnamed Righteous, (afterwards Jose being called this), then Simon, following these Judas, and last of all these, Mary and Salome.

Mary is taken by husband Cleopha and was given the title sister of the Theotokos Mary. For which reason John makes known, “They were standing near the cross of Jesus, His mother, and His mother’s sister Mary of Cleopha.”

Latin with English Translation

Ex Panario sancti Epiphanii.

Joseph frater erat Cleophæ ; uterque enim ex Jacobo, cui congnomentum erat Pantherus, prognatus est. Joseph uxorem habuit Salomen ex tribu Juda, ex qua sex liberos genuit, quatuor masculos, et duas femellas. Primogenitus erat Jacobus cognomine Justus ; deinde Joseph, postea Simon, post quem Judas, tandem Maria et Salome. Maria, ducto in matrimonium Cleopha, soror Deiparæ Mariæ appellata est. Unde ait sanctus Joannes : « Stabant juxta crucem Jesu, matre ejus, et soror matris ejus Maria Cleophæ. »

From the Panarion of St. Epiphanius

Joseph was the brother of Cleopha. The two were born from Jacob whose surname was Pantherus. Joseph had a Solomaic wife from the tribe of Judah and from her begat six, four males and two females.

The firstborn was James surnamed Righteous, then Jose, after this Simon, and behind him Judas, finally Mary and Salome.

Mary, given in marriage to Cleopha, was called the sister of the Deipera Mary. From this Holy John affirms, “They were standing near the cross of Jesus, His mother, and His mother’s sister Mary Cleopha”.

Now compare this to what is found in the Epiphanius Adversus Hæreses text:


3. St. Epiphanius on the Surname and family of Christ

MPG Vol. 42. St. Epiphanius. Adversus Hæreses. Lib. III. Tom. II:LXXVIII. Col. 707ff

Greek with English Translation

Οὕτος μὲν γὰρ ὁ ᾽Ιωσὲφ ὰδελφὸς γίνεται τοῦ Κλωπᾶ, ἥν δὲ υἱὸς τοῦ Ἰακὼβ, ἐπίκλην δὲ Πάνθηρ καλουμένου. Ἀμφότεροι οὕτοι ἀπὸ τοῦ Πάνθερος ἐπίκλην γεννῶνται. Ἔσχε δὲ οὗτος ὁ Ἰωσὴφ τὴν μὲν πρώτην αὐτοῦ γυναῖκα ἐκ τῆς φυλῆς Ἰούδα, καὶ κυῖσκει αὐτῷ αὔτη παϊδας τὸν ὰριθμὸν ἓξ, τέσσαρας μὲν ἄῤῤενας, θηλειας δὲ δύο· καθάπερ τὸ κατὰ Μάρκον καὶ κατὰ Ἰωάννην ἐσαφήνισαν. Ἔσχε μὲν οὖν πρωτότοκον τὸν Ἰακωβον τὸν ἐπικληθέντα ᾽Ωβλιαν, ἑρμηνευόμενον τεῖχος, καὶ δίκαιον ἐπικληθεντα, Ναζωραῖον δὲ ὄντα, ὅπερ ἑρμηνεύεται ἅγιος.

In this way Joseph is the brother of Cleopha, he was the son of Jacob, who was given the surname Pantherus. These two were born from the one surnamed Pantherus. In this way, Joseph had his first wife from the tribe of Judah and she bears for him a total of six children, four males and two females.

Just as they clearly explained (in) the Gospel according to Mark and according to John. The first is held to be James, the one who was called “Oblian”, interpreted the “Wall” and also called righteous and being a Nazarite which is to be interpreted as holy.

Latin with English Translation

Siquidem hic ipse Josephus Cleophæ frater, Jacobi filius cognomento Pantheris, fuit : ambo, inquam, illi Panthere patre nati sunt. Cæterum Josephus primam e tribu Judæ conjugem habuit, e qua sex liberos suscepit, mares quatuor, feminas duas : id quod Marci ac Joannis Evangelia declarant. Primus ex omni stirpe natus illi filius est Jacobus, cognomento Oblias ( quod murum, vel castellum interpretari licet ), qui et justus appellatus est, et Nazaræus fuit, quod vocabulum sanctum significat.

Since that this Joseph himself is the brother of Cleopha, a son of Jacob surnamed Pantherus. It was: two, it was said, were born from the father Pantherus. Besides what has been mentioned, Joseph had a first wife from the tribe of Judah, and from her begat six children, four males and two females.

Just as they declare in Mark and John. The first born son to all his family is James, surnamed Oblias (which one may attempt to interpret as Wall or Stronghold) and also called righteous and was a Nazarite, which proves the appellation “Holy”.


4. The Lives of Mary and Joseph in the Epiphanius text

MPG Vol.42. St. Epiphanius. Adversus Hæreses. Lib. III. Tom. II:LXXVIII. Col. 709ff

The Epiphanius text contains a further expansion on the family of Christ that the St. Anastassi author(s) are either not aware of, or ignore. The Latin and Greek texts are supplied with only one English translation.

Η᾽. Τίκτει μὲν τοῦτον τὸν Ἰὰκωβον ἐγγύς που περὶ ἔτη γεγονὼς τεσσαράκοντα πλείω έλάσσω · μετ᾽αὐτὸν δὲ γίνεται παῖς Ἰωσῆ καλούμενος· εἶτα μετ᾽αὐτὸν Συμεών· ἔπειτα Ἰούδας· καὶ δύο θυγατέρες, ἡ Μαρία καὶ ἡ Σαλώμη καλουμένη. Καὶ τέθνηκεν αὐτοῦ ἡ γυνή· καὶ μετὰ ἔτη πολλὰ λαμβάνει τὴν Μαρίαν χῆρος, κατάγων ἡλικίαν περὶ που ὀγδοήκοντα ἐτῶν καὶ πρόσω ὁ ἀνήρ. Καὶ μετὰ ταῦτα λαμβάνει τὴν Μαρίαν, ὡς καὶ ἐν τῷ Εὐαγγελίῳ λέγει· Μνηστευθείσης γὰρ, φησὶ, τῆς Μαρίας. Καὶ οὐκ εἷπε, Γαμηθείσης. Καὶ πάλιν ἄλλοτε· Οὐκ ᾔδει αὐτήν.

VIII. Redeo ad Jacobum illum, quem Josephus annos plus minus natus XL genuit. Post hunc alius ei filius nascitur, cui Jose nomen fuit. Inde Symeon ac Judas ; filiæ veru duæ, Maria et Salome. Tum mortua uxore, multis post annis viduus Mariam duxit, cum octogesimum atque eo amplius annum attigisset. Mariam, inquam, id ætatis accepit, ut Evangelium narrat ; Cum esset, inquit, desponsata Maria. Non dicit, cum nupsisset. Item alio loco : non cognovit illam.

“Thus he brought fourth this James, I suppose having been born more or less in about the 40th year. After him a child named Jose is born. Next after him Simeon. Thereupon Judas. And two daughters who are named Mary and Salome. And then his wife died. Then after many years the widow takes Mary into marriage, estimating the age of life somewhere around 80 years and a man advanced (in age). At this time he takes Mary into marriage, as also it says in the Gospel, “for having been betrothed”, it says, “belonging to Mary”. And it does not say, “belonging in the state of marriage” And (it is) repeated again, “He did not know her”.”

For a general summary and observations of these translations please go to: The Genealogy of Christ and Other Problems Part 1