Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Gaston Gundelfinger Frank

A little bit of a change here at the blog.  My mother passed away earlier this year and we had a memorial for her.  I always knew that she was writing a journal which among other things would have details of her fascinating and yet ultimately melancholic childhood in Switzerland during WWII.  I used details from her journal for my speech at the memorial.  I was told by many there that I should publish it in some form.  This was something my mother always wanted but oddly she avoided discussing these details with me while she was alive.

In any event, having already transcribed a dozen or so pages for the memorial I started toying with the idea of writing a longer narrative.  The basic gist of the story was that my mother and her mother fled to Switzerland where - thanks to some trickery on the part of my then 4 year old mother - my grandmother, who had lost her Swiss citizenship owing to her marrying my grandfather who was a stateless German Jew, managed to squeeze into the country and avoiding being put in the ovens.

During the course of her recounting the circumstances of their escape from Paris c. 1940 the love affair between my grandmother and grandfather came up.  My Opa was always revered as something of a god in our household - this even though he didn't have a penny to his name and died anonymously in an irrelevant corner of Scarborough, Canada (Scarborough, itself being an utterly irrelevant part of Canada up until recently where it now can claim the rapper the Weeknd as its most famous resident).  I can remember my step-grandmother still laying a empty plate and place mat at the dinner table until the day he died.

As it was I knew very little about my grandfather other than the awe and reverence that my mother and every member of her family had for him - and paradoxically the warning that was always associated with his 'example.'  My grandfather was an intellectual, a great individual but ultimately - a loser in my mother's eyes.  He was a weak man who womanized too much but was supposedly a weakling owing to his inability to stand up to women.

I guess from my mother's perspective he didn't choose his daughter over his wife (my mother's step-mother) and then in an earlier period he didn't stand up to his mother when he gave in to her poison regarding my grandmother (my mother's mother).  Oddly enough, in other respects my mother passed along incredible stories about his strength.  He apparently resisted cancer right to the end - walking, talking, smoking and carrying on until one day he just dropped dead when the cancer had spread through out his body.  My mother died much the same way.  My wife marveled at how health she looked and acted up to her very last day.

So beginning with this strange dissonant complexity - my Opa as a 'strong, weak man' - and the preservation of countless implausible stories about what happened next after he and my grandmother split in Paris at the beginning of WWII - I knew he ended up in a North African concentration camp run by the Vichy regime - I did a bit of research even while my mother was still alive.  I told her for instance that my grandfather is credited with being the first to discover mass graves at Dachau.

It was well known in my family that after being liberated from North Africa by the British he joined an American army unit and fought his way through Italy.  This is where he met and married my step-grandmother Vanna.  She was apparently some great beauty - though when I was growing up I only remember her thinning dyed blond hair held together with hairspray a top her petite frame.  In any event, he continued fighting and apparently had some role in the post-Nazi reconstruction government in Germany.  I shared the information with my mother and told her that there were apparently many more correspondences in the archives of some agency in Germany.

As I said, after my mother passed away, I decided to recheck my original research on Google.  I knew that he had two surnames - Frank which was the name of his actual biological father and then Gundelfinger which was the name of his stepfather, the man his mother Betty Marx married after her first husband died in a car accident getting a blowjob from his mistress.  As is often the case with Google, the material I discovered in 2016 disappeared from the web and instead I came across a completely different page - and then several pages - which made reference to his time in North Africa.

Not much is made of the Jewish experience in Djelfe and other camps in Algeria.  The sheer magnitude of the barbarity of the holocaust in continental Europe has eclipsed what others experienced.  Even in my family the fact that Gaston was taken to the Velodrome and shipped to North Africa rather than Bergen Belsen where his mother ended up was considered something of a 'lucky stroke.'  This even though my mother often recounted how devastated Gaston appeared when he and my father - a fifteen year old German POW who was sent to Siberia after the war.

Indeed in a manner that replicated the final days of my mother's struggle with cancer, he became delusional - with the disease apparently spreading to his brain.  He was back at the camp, only now a old man.  'Please don't take my children, please don't take my wife - they aren't Jewish!'  He was in a hallucinatory haze that sucked him out of this world but not before taking him back to his three years in hell.  If anyone cared to look in retrospect the signs were there that the camps broke him.  He emerged from the camp eager to shed his Jewish identity.  He purposefully baptized his two children by his new Italian wife as Catholics.  'If this (the Nazi regime) happens again, they won't experience what I went through.'

But what did he go through?  Oddly enough my mother never delved that deeply into matters.  Perhaps it was owing to her marrying a German man - who my Opa apparently liked very much.  Perhaps it was owing to my father's mother living in our house, she still remained an ardent supported of Hitler to the day she died.  Whatever the case, she got the sense that his experience in North Africa was bad whenever he and my dad exchanged 'concentration camp' stories.  But the world at large didn't know much or make much of a big deal about 'camps in North Africa' and she was wrapped up in abandonment issues with her father.  It was more or less a dead end.

I was utterly shocked to discover with a new Google search that my grandfather's experience in Djelfa (the location of the 'North African concentration camp' I had heard the subject of so many anecdotal references all my life) was so bad it was the subject of a famous writer's book.  Apparently during my grandfather's internment he befriended a prominent ambassador of the Republican government of Spain who happened to a fellow German Jew - Max Aub.  Aub ultimately made his escape from the camp before the arrival of the British but in the years after the war made my grandfather the subject of his books.  Here is what I discovered:

Outre ceux dont témoignent plusieurs poèmes de Journal de Djefa, Aub en fournira deux exemples significatifs dans dans « Situation des réfugiés qui se trouvent en Afrique ». Le premier renvoie aux cachots de Caffarelli, le deuxième révèle l'existence de sévices racistes : Que pense des Nord- Américains le procureur de Bucarest [...] emprisonné dans les oubliettes mortifères de Djelfa pour avoir écrit à sa femme qu'il y avait des scorpions dans le camp ? Que pense des Nations unies Isaac Guldenfïnger juif de bonne souche que l'on obligeait à travailler les samedis, à coups de crosse, le corps brisé après avoir résisté de façon incroyable criant que sa religion le lui interdisait ?49 Des manifestations d'antisémitisme sont bien perceptibles à Djelfa.

Au nombre de 179 en mai 42, les juifs font généralement l'objet d'un décompte spécial, sont jugés « dans l'ensemble dangereux et indésirables » et nécessitant une étroite surveillance50. Interdits de travail, ils ne pouvaient bénéficier des suppléments alimentaires fort nécessaires51. Les sévices racistes à l'encontre du dénommé Isaac Guldenfinger, Aub les racontera à nouveau dans « Le cireur de chaussures du Père Éternel ». Guldenfinger y devient le Parisien Godman, victime des mêmes violences, enfermé quasiment en permanence dans les cachots de Caffarelli : « mais il ne meurt pas, ne tombe même pas malade. Il supporte tout. Il rêve de retourner régenter son magasin de fourrures, boulevard des Capucines52. » Dans le contexte également fictionnel du « Cimetière de Djelfa », sans le nommer, Pardinas (l'épistolier narrateur) lui attribue un autre destin et parle de « ce juif », resté à Djelfa, associé avec le bijoutier Mohamed ben Cara, et « qui ne voulait pas travailler le samedi »53. Peut-être le relevé nominatif des internés juifs d'Afrique du Nord dressé par Jacob Oliel, en signalant à Djelfa un Gaston Gundelfinger de nationalité allemande54, désigne-t-il le même personnage. Quant au périmètre restreint, là où se trouvent relégués « les idiots, les fous, les plus sales, les soi-disant voleurs », Aub révèle que « [la] nuit le responsable du camp spécial — un Espagnol vendu — [entrait] sous les tentes pour y [frapper] les tristes bougres avec une chaîne de fer55 » et qu'il eut lui-même l'occasion de connaître de l'intérieur ce sinistre endroit : La police interne du camp, remplie de mouchards, prenait grand soin de renseigner l'administration sur la filiation politique de chacun.

Tu te souviens de ce juif qui ne voulait pas travailler les samedis ? Celui qu'on envoyait trois fois sur quatre au camp disciplinaire ? Celui-là est aussi resté ici. Il avait changé trop de fois de camp, à force de travailler " sous le fouet - disait-il - beaucoup de samedis ". Il s'est mis à le faire avec Mohamed Ben Cara, le joaillier. Celui qui fut condamné à six ans de prison, ce fut Gribouille - son nom importe peu -, ce sergent qui frappait n'importe qui avec sa cravache : parce qu'on s'était trompé de nom, parce qu'on avait répondu " présent " en avance ou en retard, parce qu'on avait donné de l'argent à un type qui s'était échappé (sans le savoir : ce fut Barbena qui a payé les pots cassés, tu te souviens ?). Le même qui a pendu le Malagueno à l'envers et est monté sur lui à califourchon, tandis qu'il le battait sur la plante des pieds. Pour les tortures le monde n'avance pas de grand-chose. C'est incroyable avec la quantité d'inventions que l'on voit. Mais est-ce que ça peut faire autant de mal que de t'arracher les ongles? et c'est vieux comme le monde.

Quick English translation:

In addition to those shown in several of the poems in the Diary of Djefa, Aub will provide two significant examples in the "Situation of Refugees in Africa". The first refers to Caffarelli's dungeons, the second reveals the existence of racist abuses: What do North Americans think of the prosecutor of Bucharest ... imprisoned in Djelfa's deadly forgetting for writing to his wife that there Had scorpions in the camp? What is the opinion of the United Nations Isaac Guldenfïnger Jew of good strain who was obliged to work on Saturdays with his rifle butt, the body broken after having resisted in an incredible way, shouting that his religion forbade it? 49 Demonstrations of anti-Semitism are Well perceived in Djelfa.

Numbering 179 in May 2004, Jews are generally the subject of a special count, are considered "generally dangerous and undesirable" and require close supervision50. Forbidden to work, they could not benefit from the very necessary nutritional supplements51. The racist abuse against the man named Isaac Guldenfinger, Aub will recount them again in "Shoe shiner of the Eternal Father". Guldenfinger became the Parisian Godman, the victim of the same violence, locked almost permanently in the dungeons of Caffarelli: "but he does not die, does not even fall ill. It supports everything. He dreams of returning to regiment his fur store, boulevard des Capucines52. In the fictional context of the Djelfa Cemetery, Pardinas (the epistolary narrator) attributes to him another destiny and speaks of "this Jew", who remained in Djelfa, associated with the jeweler Mohamed ben Cara, and "Who did not want to work on Saturday" 53. Perhaps the nominative statement of the Jewish internees of North Africa drawn up by Jacob Oliel, pointing out to Djelfa a Gaston Gundelfinger of German nationality54, designates the same personage. As for the restricted perimeter, where "idiots, fools, dirtiest, so-called thieves" are relegated, Aub reveals that "[t] he night the head of the special camp - a Spaniard sold - [entered] The tents to hit the sad bugger with an iron chain, "and that he himself had the opportunity of knowing from the inside this sinister place: The internal police of the camp, full of spies, took great care To inform the administration of the political affiliation of each.

Remember this Jew who did not want to work on Saturdays? Who was sent three times out of four to the disciplinary camp? This one also stayed here. He had changed too many times, by working "under the whip," he said, "many Saturdays." He began to do so with Mohamed Ben Cara, the jeweler. The one who was sentenced to six years' imprisonment was Gribouille - his name does not matter - that sergeant who struck anyone with his whip: because they had erred in name because they had answered " Present "in advance or late, because money had been given to a guy who had escaped (without knowing it: it was Barbena who paid the broken pots, do you remember?). The same who hanged the Malagueno upside down and stood on him astride, while he beat him on the soles of his feet. For torture the world does not advance much. It's incredible with the amount of inventions we see. But can it do as much harm as tearing your nails? And it is as old as the world.

I have ordered a copy of Aub's original short story and will post it here soon.  The interesting thing here is that my mother did mention Gaston's frequent visits to New York to visit an old friend 'Max' but assumed it was part of some business dealing or failed business venture.  My mother's odd disinterest in her father's life or her inability to see him beyond what he represented to her will likely be the context of the new work.

Friday, May 19, 2017

A Catalog of Epiphanius's Blunders, Misrepresentations and Outright Lies

We've all heard - or felt - that Epiphanius was a bad reference source.  It's a charge that's been floating in scholarly literature for some time.  But no one until now I think has actually assembled all (or at least most) of the major knocks against Epiphanius's reputation in the literature.  Here they are:
  1. wrote at the level of a fifth grader (Jerome, "his style is poor, like that of one who is unfamiliar with Attic elegance" Photius, "tortuous and sometimes barely comprehensible" Cambridge History of Early Christian Literature, "elevated Koine" Holl)
  2. had the comprehension of a fifth grader ("This trait - viz. his low quality Greek - is no surprise because Epiphanius was an enemy of all classical education. He reckoned the Greek philosophical schools among the heresies and was suspicious of any Hellenistic learning"  Quasten “In fact, Epiphanius seems to be a complete stranger to classical paideia and is, in this regard, a unique exception among the grand authors of this age.” Nautin)
  3. was intimate with the worst sorts of people (Theophilus of Alexandria)
  4. supported Theophilus in his slander against John bishop of Jerusalem (Farrar)
  5. supported Theophilus in his campaign against John Chrysostom, and the four "Tall Brothers" and then admitted he knew nothing of their teachings (Chadwick
  6. probably lied about seeing Palladius in Jerusalem in a letter to Jerome (Butler)
  7. lacked critical care in citing scripture (Osburn)
  8. "one is tempted to characterize [the Panarion] as a compendium of largely inaccurate information" (Louth)
  9. part of the inaccuracies of the Panarion might be explained by Epiphanius's habit of rambling dictation to a scribe.  "These sentences may be of the "run-on" variety as when, at Panarion 30,18,3, Epiphanius tries to tell us everything he knows about Ebionite marriage customs in one breath. Such cases suggest that Epiphanius frequently dictated his work rather than writing it. If so, it is easy to understand why short, exclamatory interjections sometimes interrupt the course of an Epiphanian sentence. At times one observes other phenomena best explained by Epiphanius' habit of dictation. So at Panarion 39,8,7, where Epiphanius finds himself going on too long about Near Eastern geography, he backtracks with a rapid genitive absolute, and starts over. The whole of Panarion 29,3,9, which we have rendered with two English sentences, is one long genitive absolute on the lips of the hurrying Epiphanius." (Williams)
  10. "seems to have been a man whose ideas of geography, history, and chronology were confused to an extraordinary degree. The one quotation which Daille has made in proof of his ignorance of geography is sufficient to show how much we may rely on his statements. We extract it here. 'The Pheison,' he says, 'is called Ganges among the Indians and Ethiopians. The Greeks call it Indus. For it encircles the whole of Evilat, both little and greats even the parts of the Elymeans and passes through Great Ethiopia turns to the south, and within Gades flows into the Great Ocean'." (Donaldson)
  11. "of his historical confusions we shall have many instances and nothing more need be said here  than simply that the preference which some critics have shown for Epiphanius, Theodoret, and the later writers, is totally unwarranted. Most of these writers were monks who lived away from the world of realities, who could scarcely distinguish between facts and their own fancies, and who were probably very indifferent whether Hadrian lived ten or a hundred years before Marcus Antoninus. The causes why their statements have been preferred are mainly two. They have sometimes made assertions in harmony with the conjectures of the critics, and they have been looked on as sainted men whose every opinion and affirmation must have been true, or, at the very least, close to the truth." (Donaldson)
  12. makes wild "assertions about such widespread use of the self-designation 'gnostic.' For one thing, if Epiphanius were correct, that would render the complete absence of the self-designation from a diverse collection such as the Nag Hammadi library even harder to understand! It is more likely that Epiphanius has simply expanded by inference the reports of the self-designation given by earlier heresiologists such as Irenaeus. Therefore, though Epiphanius claims a more widespread usage of the self-designation, his testimony is ambiguous and contradictory, and of questionable reliability." (Williams)
  13. likely falsely claimed to have met Sethian gnostics "'I think I may have met with this sect in Egypt too—I do not precisely recall the country in which I met them. And I found out some things about it by inquiry in an actual encounter, but have learned other things from treatises' (Panarion 39,1,2). Epiphanius is in this case vague and the reader is left with the impression that it is uncertain whether he has met the Sethians at all" (Gilhus)
  14. consistently "misunderstood, garbled, and even intentionally misrepresented ... mythic themes that these sectarians understood in ascetic terms ... as doctrines condoning licentiousness” (Michael Williams)
  15. lied about participating in an orgiastic gnostic Christian service (Ehrman)
  16. "consistently amplified the sexualized nature of heretical group, viz. developing the bare reference to the Nicolaitans in Revelations and Irenaeus into an intimate connection with the 'libertine Gnostics,' affirming the Nicolaitans were not only the founders of this “Gnostic” heresy, but that both groups basically constituted what was one and the same sect (Rasimus)
  17. invented supposed sexual 'ingathering' rites for the Simonians grafting this idea onto the original report of Irenaeus" (Gero
  18. invented "promiscuous rituals these Gnostics supposedly practiced: they gathered semen and menstrual blood, and consummated these as the Eucharist (Pan. 26.4.5–8); they practiced ritual sex where 730 acts of intercourse makes one “Christ”(26.9.6–9); and, in order to support these practices, they related a story of Christ producing a woman out of his side (cf. Eve's extraction from Adam's side in Gen 2:21–22) and having intercourse with her in order to demonstrate the way of salvation (Pan. 26.8.1–3). (Rasimus)
  19. invented "the Ophite Eucharist scene [that] largely contributed to the still prevailing picture of the Ophites as worshippers of snakes" viz. "Ophites, who extol the serpent and think he is Christ, and have an actual snake, the familiar reptile, in a sort of basket” (Rasimus)
  20. "in his desire to prove that Simon is the parent of all subsequent heresy, is here mixing together the opinions of different Gnostic sects with a result inconsistent even in his own eyes" (Legge)
  21. invented lurid details to add to Irenaeus's account of the Cainites (Ehrman)
  22. pretended "to know something concerning the affluence of the [Carpocratians]: The images they honored were made of gold and silver (ibid., 27.6.9); also the initiated wallowed in debauchery and sensuous pleasure. But how does he know this? In 27.6.9 he appears merely to have expanded Irenaeus's tradition; 27.4.1 (cf. already Irenaeus, 1.25.3) is an anti-heretical commonplace. (Lampe)
  23. made Basilides and Saturnilus belong to the same school. (Roberts and Donaldson)
  24. claimed Encratites travel with disreputable women (Pan. 47.3.1)
  25. made up an early Christian heretical text the Greater Questions of Mary and various 'citations' of this work (Ehrman)
  26. before a large audience of monks claimed to have read "6000 books of Origen" a figure disputed by supporters and detractors alike (Rufinus, Jerome)
  27. often brought forward the epitome of 'low quality' reporting viz. "There are people called Origenists, but this kind of Origenist is not to be found everywhere. I think, though, that the sect we are now discussing next after these. They are named Origenists, but I am not sure after whom. I do not know whether they from the Origen who is called Adamantius the Author, or from some other Origen. Still, I have learned of this name ..." (Panarion 43)  Glad you got that off your chest!
  28. lied about having in his possession the gospel of the Ebionites (Credner "in denying that Epiphanius knew the Ebionite Gospel by personal inspection ... the Ebionites called their document εὐαγγέλιον καθ' Ἑβραίους; or τὸ Ἑβραΐκόν, appellations which could not with propriety proceed from them, by way of title or superscription; that Epiphanius adduces the beginning of the Gospel in somewhat different times in two places, as though he did not know the words ; and that the same father quotes passages so loosely, as to indicate his ignorance of them as written")
  29. lied about having in his possession the canon of Marcion (Eichhorn, implicit also in the observation of Blunt regarding his catalog that "after saying with Tertullian that Marcion only received ten of St. Paul's Epistles, he enumerates them all as received by him" in other words he was compiling and transcribing things related to the subject of Marcion's canon rather than actual having the canon in front of him and carrying out the study)
  30. was "mistaken in supposing that there were two distinct epistles [in the Marcionite canon] one to the Ephesians, and one to the Laodiceans." (Pope)
  31. invented the story about Marcion's father being a bishop (May)
  32. invented the story about a decisive showdown between Marcion and the Roman clergy (HarnackMay)
  33. invented a claim that Marcion allowed for repeated baptisms "thus I have heard from many" (von Harnack)
  34. invented the story of Marcion being excommunicated for raping a virgin (Lardner)
  35. invented stories about 'Ebion' the fictitious founder of the Ebionites (PagetLuomanen)
  36. lied about having in his possession the gospel of the Ebionites (Norton)
  37. claimed "that the Hebrew 'Matthew' is our Matthew, but he obviously has not seen it (Pan. Haer. 29.2.4)." (Rist)
  38. claimed that the Pseudo-Clementines were Ebionite but no real evidence to support this identification (Hannah)
  39. claimed that Cerinthus and Carpocrates used the Gospel of Matthew from a misunderstanding of "a passage in Irenaeus, who writes that the Ebionites have the same ideas as Cerinthus and Carpocrates and continues with the remark: 'They use only the Gospel of Matthew'. (Adv Haer 1.26.2)  Epiphanius supposed that Irenaeus was in this passage still speaking about the Ebionites, Cerinthus and Carpocrates" (Klijn)
  40. haphazardly transferred information about the Ebionites to Cerinthus (RistSkarsauneAnchor Bible)
  41. claimed "that Ebion came from the Nazoraeans [and this] must be questioned" (Finley)
  42. grafts a historical/geographical connection between the Ebionites and Pella that was not originally present in the source material he borrowed from Eusebius (Luomanen)
  43. invented a theory of the influence of Elxai on the Ebionites based on a transfer of ps.- Clementine ideas to Elxai and the Elkesaites. They mention particularly the obligation of marriage (see Pan 19,1,7), the repudiation of prophets (Pan 53,1,7), the rejection of meat dishes and sacrifices (Pan 1 9, 3, 5-6 and 53, 1 , 4), the veneration of water (Pan 53,1,7), and, finally, the speculations on frequent manifestations of Christ (Pan 53,1,8).  According to Klijn and Reinink, all these features were wrongly ascribed to Elxai and his adherents
  44. supposed that the Elchasites were so-called from a man named Elxai rather than the name of a book of revelation with this title (Salmon)
  45. invented a relationship between the Sampseans and the book 'Elxai' perhaps because of a shared name of adherents associated with both traditions (Luttikhuizen)
  46. changed Irenaeus' report (about the Valentinians) and attributed this material to to Ptolemy himself (Hill "It may be that, having realized that he had already reproduced the Ptolemaean material in 1.8 in a section on Valentinus - perhaps he only realized it when he got to the end of 1. 8. 5, Epiphanius presented the views Irenaeus attributed to followers of Ptolemy as those of Ptolemy himself").
  47. his portrait of Arius was 'unscrupulous fiction' (Stanley)
  48. wrote "fictitious biography of Mani (Williams)  
  49. says that "Cerdo follows these (the Ophites, Kainites, Sethiani), and Heracleon." Tischendorf: "Epiphanius has certainly made a mistake, as in such things not unfrequently happens to him, when he makes Cerdo, who, however, is to be placed about 140, follow Heracleon." 
  50. "refers to a sect of Cerdonians, but such a sect probably never existed" (Deferrar)
  51. "seems to multiply the sects of Palestine-Transjordan. He describes the Essenes as Samaritans, locates the Ossenes (Ossaeans) all through the Jordan Valley, and mentions Hemerobaptists (people who cleanse daily through immersion in water) as a separate sect. It is likely that Essene and Ossene both derive from asyîn; their initial vowel representations merely reflect dialect and transliteration variance. As previously noted, daily cleansing is characteristic of the Essenes. Thus, Epiphanius' three sects all seem to be representative of the Essenes, as known from the works of Josephus and Philo." (Jandora)
  52. invented the name "Ossaeans" (SaeboCasePetrement)
  53. misrepresented discovering a Samaritan sect of the Essenes (Isser)
  54. misidentified the Dositheans as a Jewish sect and Dositheus as a Jew (Isser)
  55. lied about the existence of a Christian sect called the Phibionites
  56. lied about the existence of a Christian sect called the Stratiotics (King)
  57. lied about the existence of a Christian sect called the Socratites (King)
  58. lied about the existence of a Christian sect called the Adamians (Lardner)
  59. lied about the existence of a Christian sect called the Nazarenes (Luomanen)
  60. lied about the existence of a Christian sect called the Kollyridians (Roeber)
  61. lied about the existence of a Christian sect called the Satanians (van Luijk
  62. might have made up the existence of a Christian sect called the Archontics (Reeves "Some scholars have questioned the actual existence of a separate sect of so- called "Archontics," since it is only Epiphanius, along with those writers dependent upon his work, that record this name")
  63. "invented a sect which called itself the 'Melchizedekians' and he attributed to this group some heterodox opinions about the patriarch" (Bickerman)
  64. "the Herodians and the 'scribes' mentioned by Epiphanius undoubtedly never existed as sects. Both are mentioned in the New Testament (Mt. 22:16; Mk. 3:6), and this is where the author has come across them." (SimonBickerman)
  65. "may well have been ignorant or inaccurate about the ascetics he describes as 'Messalian'" (Caner)
  66. invented the name 'Antidicomarians' (Lundhaug)
  67. invented the name 'Alogoi' (Carrington, Lundhaug)
  68. had no 'Alogi' at all, and that he simply put together past criticisms of the Johannine Gospel and Apocalypse, possibly based on the suspicion that there must have been, behind all these (Celsus, Gaius, Origen, Porphyry, Philosabbatius) disparate criticisms, some single, heretical source" (Hill, Brent)
  69. manipulated Hippolytus original chronological data in a clumsy way in order to make the Roman Church Father's 'anti-Alogoi' arguments fit Epiphanius's own beliefs and practices (HarrisGwynn, Hill)
  70. reports that the Sebuaeans "celebrated the Feast of Unleavened Bread at the new moon after the new year - in fall; likewise, Pentecost they moved to the fall; and the Feast of Tabernacles they observed at the time of the Jewish Passover. Since it is of the wheat harvest (the Feast of Unleavened Bread) would be celebrated in fall and the fall festival of the fruit harvest (the Feast of Tabernacles) in spring, Epiphanius must have been mistaken." (Pummer)
  71. probably lied about the existence of a Jewish Christian sect called the Nazoraei (Conybeare)
  72. probably either lied or embellished the story of his encounter with 'Count Joseph' to distinguish orthodoxy i.e. the two officially recognized organized religions of Christianity and Judaism from Jewish Christianity viz. Ebionism (cf. Boyarin "[i]n other words, a Jewish orthodoxy is produced by the Christian legend, in order to help guarantee a Christian orthodoxy, over and against hybrids. The hybrids, however, also produce the no-man's-land, the mestizo territory, that guarantees the purity of the orthodox formations" also Jacobs
  73. associates 'Count Joseph' with "two patriarchs named Hillel and Judah. It would appear that Epiphanius got the got the names of the patriarchs right, but confused their identities in the story; most likely, Joseph was at the deathbed of Judah III (c-320), and involved with the young Hillel II until the early days of his taking office cf. Pan. xxx. 10. 9 ff. (Taylor)
  74. probably lied about a Hebrew manuscripts of the Acts of the Apostles and the gospel of John preserved in the library of 'Count Joseph' 
  75. made up the name Iessaioi, attributes it to Philo and thus linking the names 'Jesus' and the Essenes (Pritz, Case)
  76. had an odd way of 'personalizing' the continued existence of Jewish Christian heretics in his presence and that of his addressees.  For instance he claims that Ebionite settlements could be found in Cyprus, something explicitly denied when Theodoret went about looking on the island a few generations after publication. Similarly the two abbots from Coele-Syria happen to be located in one of the few places the questionable Nazoraeans are said to have maintained a settlement; outside of Epiphanius there are no eyewitnesses to this sect (Smith Wace)
  77. misrepresented the contents and historical details surrounding the Creed of Seleucia (Williams)
  78. most unreliable of the three sources for reconstructing Marcion's canon (Clabeaux)
  79. unreliable information about the population of contemporary Palestine (Taylor)
  80. 'unusable' information about the founding of Aelia Capitolina (Gray)
  81. assigns John being banished to Patmos to the reign of Claudius (Robinson)
  82. assigns the Montanist female prophet to the first century (Marjanen)
  83. "Epiphanius, — the inaccurate and most untrustworthy Epiphanius, — is the only author of the story of Cerinthus being at the Council at Jerusalem" (Elliot)
  84. seems to have confounded St Paul's visit to Jerusalem in company with Titus, Gal. 2/Acts 15 with the later one in company with Trophimus. Acts 21 (Cook)
  85. haphazardly transferred information about the Gnostics to the Nicolatians (Rasimus)
  86. was "mistaken in placing the Encratites after the Tatianites, as if they were a branch of the latter sect, the true relation being just the opposite." (Smith Wace)
  87. seems to have passed himself off to his contemporaries as an expert in Hebrew but his opinions and interpretations are often times quite dubious (Smith Wace)
  88. makes "ten different Hebrew names for God used in the Old Testament. Many of these translations are incorrect" (Jacobs)
  89. introduces the Hebrew word (kanani) in order to suggest an entirely different—and, to be sure bizarre—translation: “The Lord hatched (enosseuse) me. This image, Epiphanius claims, leaves no doubt as to the consubstantiality of the Father and the Son. Also, of course, it makes little sense in its scriptural context. It's not clear what Hebrew verb Epiphanius is thinking of here ... Epiphanius introduced this translation of Prov 8:22 already in Ancoratus 44.1–2 (GCS n.F. 10.1:54), but without any discussion. (Jacobs)
  90. developed a mostly worthless historical chronology based in part on his adding corrections for two different timeline traditions for the period from Adam to the Flood. (Adler)
  91. claimed that "the first two columns [of the Hexapla] contained respectively a Hebrew text in Hebrew letters and a transcription of that text into Greek letters.” Nautin dismisses Epiphanius's testimony, which he maintains is contradicted by that of Eusebius, who was familiar with the copy of the Hexapla in Origen's library 
  92. "reverses [the correct] order and places Symmachus chronologically before Theodotion (misled, as some think, by the order of the versons in the Hexapla) ; but in so doing he falls into a palpable error, placing him in the reign of an imaginary second Commodus, whom he supposes to have reigned subsequently to Severus. The Chronicon Paschale however places his version in the sixth year of the actual Commodus" (Smith, Wace)
  93. mistook or made up a "wholly arbitrary identification [of a pagan veneration of the birth of the Aion from a virgin] with a quite imaginary Roman Saturnalia on December 25." (Rahner
  94. claimed that the local Creed of Jerusalem "which he gives in the Ancoratus was the original Creed drawn up at Nicaea, but his statements are confused and unreliable" (Harford and Stevenson, Cheetham, Orloff)
  95. claimed that the LXX translation did not only comprise the Pentateuch, but all the books of the Old Testament, plus twenty two apocrypha (DuToit).
  96. mistakenly identified Jesus as living in the age of Alexander Jannaeus (Mead)
  97. supposed that the magi who visited the baby Jesus were fifteen in number (Lange)
  98. appropriated ideas from the Physiologus without attribution (van den Broek)
  99. "Lawlor produces very strong arguments and evidence (pp. 73-94) to show that Epiphanius in writing his Panarion had before him a copy of Hegesippus' Memoirs, and further that those Memoirs contained a great deal of information about the early history of the Churches of Jerusalem, Corinth and Rome." (Lawlor  "It is quite certain, however, that several passages of his Panarion are based on portions of the Memoirs quoted verbatim by Eusebius")
  100. "Epiphanius' Panarion, the greatest anti-heretical work of the early church, is a storehouse of selections from earlier works but does not name its sources. To see if Epiphanius is a trustworthy compiler, chap. 65 is compared with the chief source of its report on Paul of Samosata, the small Pseudo-Athanasius tractate whose short title is Contra Sabellianos, which was probably written in the years 355-360 against Photinus of Sirmium (as a "Samosatian") by Apollonius of Laodicea. This valuable tractate has been ignored by schoars because they wrongly believed it to be plagiarized. Not only was Epiphanius careless in copying material from Contra Sabellianos, but he took statements of Photinus quoted therein and attributed them in his Panarion to Paul of Samosata and his followers. Thus Epiphanius' work is not to be trusted." (Hubner)
  101. the statement "Some Manicheans and Marcionites say that Jesus was not born—hence, 'She shall bear, and they shall say, She hath not borne.' For Mary has not given birth because of a man's seed, and these people104 madly tell the lie that she has given birth because of a man's seed" (Panarion 30.30.3) seems suspiciously vague and unlikely when applied to the Marcionites.
"what Epiphanius says of the Gnostics is not true" Lardner
"not to be relied upon" VolkmarDunn, Zahn, HortonWestminster HandbookStrett, van den Broek, TwomeySternBarnard, Exell, Pearson, Mosheim, Lake
"Epiphanius ought to be the last witness we should trust uncontrolled, especially in his testimonies on heretics and heretical writings. He combines all kinds of notices, rumours, and calumnies into abracadabra often completely incomprehensible." Plooij
"narrow-minded and untrustworthy; prejudice, temper, and an unhappy inability to recognise the responsibilities of authorship, deduct largely from the value of the services which he has rendered to learning" Swete
“no patristic source is filled with more invective and distortion,” Ehrman
"Epiphanius' notorious inaptness in all matters requiring discrimination" Zahn
"Epiphanius' work is 'notoriously slovenly'" Fee
"completely uncritical arbitrariness in the utilization of previously known material" Schmidtke "usually regarded as the most unscrupulous of heresiologists, Epiphanius of Salamis piledrove his antiheretical message into the Panarion" Churton
"superficial, verbose, and often inaccurate" Haar
"want of critical acumen" Milligan
"the polemic that Epiphanius directed against those Christians he considered heretical, [is] recognized within scholarship as largely hyperbole if not outright fiction" Tite
"all the details of Epiphanius' descriptions are not to be taken seriously ; in his exposing polemic he exaggerates a good deal. In places he appears to give full rein to phantasy and to indulge in concupiscence." (Rudolph)

Of course this list will continue to expand as we receive no information.  Feel free to email me any suggests or links I have forgotten or corrections to the list above.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Another Argument that Cyril's Reference to Irenaeus's Prescriptions Against Heresies is to the Greek Text Behind Tertullian's Prescription Against Heresies

When citing from Irenaeus's Prescriptions Against Heresies he specifically references 'the Cataphrygians.' As Ferguson notes:
The name Cataphrygians for the Montanists is first attested in Pseudo-Tertullian, Haereses. Its introduction here may be due to the Latin translator. The earliest Greek sources employ 'Phrygians.' “Kataphrygians” appears first in surviving Greek sources in Cyril of Jerusalem (Catecheses XVI.8)
It is impossible to argue that Cyril's source only identified Simon as guilty of claiming he was the Holy Spirit.  The source also listed the Cataphrygians (= Montanists) as sharing this guilt (which was likely why it may have been removed as an appendix to the surviving Latin text of the Prescription.  

An Argument that Cyril Used Irenaeus's Prescriptions Against Heresies Which Was Also Used by Tertullian to Make His Prescription Against Heresies

It is generally acknowledged that Cyril derived almost all his knowledge of the early heresies from Irenaeus.  He mentions one work in particular that he used - Irenaeus's Prescriptions Against the Heresies.  Here are some examples of Cyril - in reference to 'the heresies' and 'heretics' - drawing from a Greek text of Irenaeus which may have influenced Tertullian writing the Prescription Against Heresies in Latin.  Cyril declares at the end of the Fifth Catechetical Lecture:

Guard them with reverence, lest per chance the enemy despoil any who have grown slack; or lest some heretic pervert any of the truths delivered to you. For faith is like putting money into the bank, even as we have now done; but from you God requires the accounts of the deposit. I charge you, as the Apostle says, before God, who quickens all things, and Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed the good confession, that you keep this faith which is committed to you, without spot, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ. A treasure of life has now been committed to you, and the Master demands the deposit at His appearing, which in His own times He shall show, Who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; Who only has immortality, dwelling in light which no man can approach unto; Whom no man has seen nor can see. To Whom be glory, honour, and power 1 Timothy 6:15-16 forever and ever amen.  

This is taken almost verbatim from the interpretation in Tertullian's Prescription or - as we suggest - its original Greek source - viz. Irenaeus's Prescription Against Heresies:

But, as we have said, the same madness is seen when they allow indeed that the Apostles were not ignorant of anything nor preached different doctrines, yet will have it that they did not reveal all things to all persons, but committed some things openly to all, and others secretly to a few; basing this assertion on the fact that Paul used this expression to Timothy, "O Timothy, guard the deposit" and again, "Keep the good deposit." What was this "deposit" of so secret a nature as to be reckoned to belong to another doctrine ? Was it a part of that charge of which he says, "This charge I commit to thee, son Timothy" And likewise of that commandment of which he says, "I charge thee before GOD Who quickeneth all things, and Jesus Christ Who witnessed before Pontius Pilate a good confession, that thou observe the commandment " ? What commandment, now, and what charge ? From the context it may be gathered not that something is obscurely hinted at in this phrase concerning a more hidden doctrine, but rather that he was commanded not to admit anything beyond that which he had heard from Paul himself, openly too, I take it—"before many witnesses" are his words.

Was Tertullian's Prescription Against Heresies Derived from Irenaeus's Prescriptions Against Heresies?

Many lists of Irenaean fragments have been compiled over the years.  Cerrato gives the list of "[l]ost works of the Irenaean corpus perhaps influenced the anti-gnostic apocalyptic theology of the commentaries.  The majority are now known only by title. A catalogue can be reconstructed from later sources, particularly Eusebius, Jerome, and Photius. According to these, Irenaeus produced the following:
  1. liber variorum tractatuum, 'a book of diverse tractates' (Eusebius, HE 5. 26, Jerome, vir. ill. 35). 
  2. contra gentes, de disciplina (Eusebius, he 5. 20, Jerome vir. ill. 35) 3. [my note - Eusebius mentions 5 a brief work of Irenaeus against the heathens, entitled:πρὸς Ἕλληνας λόγος συντομώτατος καὶ τὰ μάλιστα ἀναγκαιότατος  which Jerome incorrectly reads6: Contra gentes volumen breve et de disciplina aliud]
  3. de monarchia, sive quod deus non sit conditor malorum (Eusebius, HE 5. 20, Jerome, vir. ill. 35)
  4. de schismate (Eusebius, HE 5. 2o, Jerome, vir. ill. 35). 
  5. de fide (Maximus the Confessor, PG 91, col. 276, and Paris codex 854). [my note - The fragment De fide was at first attributed to Irenaeus, but is now generally considered to be the work of Melito of Sardis.] 
  6. de universe (Photius, bibl. 48). 
  7. de trinitate (Holl, sacra parallela, 84, fragment).
  8. de octava (Eusebius, HE 5. 20, Jerome, vir. ill. 35). 
  9. epistula ad Victorem (Jerome, vir. ill. 35, in Genesim, codex Patm. rq.35). 
  10. in Canticum canticorum (Syriac fragment in Harvey, ii. 455) 
  11. commentarium in Apocalypsem (codex of the Altenberg monastery). 
  12. 'history of Elkanah and Samuel' (British Museum Syriac codex add. i2i57, f. i98, see Harvey, ii.507 
  13. commentarium in evangelium secundum marcum (Moscow codex bibl. s. syn. 48, in C. F. Matthaei (Moscow, i775). "• H3)
  14. 'on the martyrs, letter to the churches of Asia and Phrygia on the persecutions of Vienne and Lyons' (Eusebius, HE 5.1, Oecimenius" commentrium in epistulam I Petri 
  15. contra Marcionem (Irenaeus, adv. haer. i. 27. 4, 3. i2. i2). 
  16. contra Valentinum (Theodoret of Cyrrhus, haer. fabul. i.23, Harvey, ii. 479).  

The following texts, traditionally attributed to Irenaeus, are therefore possible sources of the commentaries:39 (i) adversus haereses, (2) epideixis, (3) contra gentes, (4) de monarchia, (5) de schismate, (6) de trinitate (7) de octave (8) adversus Marcionem, and (9) adversus Valentinum (assuming a work separate from the adversus haereses). These works were anti-heretical either wholly, or in part, and perhaps also contained eschatological teachings."

Odd that Cyril's allusion to the Prescriptions Against Heresies isn't included among this list but this seems to have been sabotaged to some extending by an overactive Benedictine monk who took what was written in the MS (= προστάγμασι) as a corrupt reference to Against the Heresies.
The full title of his work was A Refutation and Subversion of Knowledge falsely so called (Euseb. Hist. Eccles. V. c. 7). Cyril’s expression (ἐν τοῖς προστάγμασι) is sufficiently appropriate to the hortatory purpose professed by Irenæus in his preface. But the Benedictine Editor thinks that the word προστάγμασι may be an interpolation arising from the following words πρὸς τὰς.…The meaning would then be “in his writings Against Heresies,” the usual short title of the work. 
 Yet it is worth noting that the standard English translation retains the προστάγμασι.  We read Cyril reference 'Irenaeus the Exegete' who wrote 'the Injunctions Against Heresies.' The alternative rendering would be Prescriptions Against Heresies and it is worth noting that Tertullian's text of the same name is often rendered the same way "Firstly, a passage from Tertullian's book of injunctions against heresies is adduced where he states that the churches founded by the apostles were still in possession of the authentic text."

Despite the best efforts of the anonymous Benedictine editor of Cyril's Catechetical Lectures there is no way that the cited work of Irenaeus could be our Against Heresies.  There is specific mention of the general contents of the work which we read:
For the heretics, who are most profane in all things, have sharpened their tongue against the Holy Ghost also, and have dared to utter impious things; as Irenæus the interpreter has written in his injunctions against heresies. For some of them have dared to say that they were themselves the Holy Ghost—of whom the first was Simon , the sorcerer spoken of in the Acts of the Apostles.
Indeed a long section follows where various heretics are identified all of whom 'dared say' in one way or another 'that they were themselves the Holy Spirit':
For this Montanus, who was out of his mind and really mad (for he would not have said such things, had he not been mad), dared to say that he was himself the Holy Ghost—he, miserable man, and filled with all uncleanness and lasciviousness; for it suffices but to hint at this, out of respect for the women who are present
The facts are that none of these ideas appear in any text which survive and are attributable to Irenaeus.  This is indisputable.  Cyril can't be referring to Adversus Haereses as the Benedictine editor wants us to believe.  So which work is he referring to?  The only answer is to let the actual reading of the MS stand - Irenaeus wrote a text called Prescriptions Against Heresies. 

Now it must be acknowledged that nowhere in our surviving edition of Tertullian's Prescription Against Heresies do we find the argument take shape that Simon and Montanus were heretics who " have dared to say that they were themselves the Holy Ghost."  No but is that really surprising if this was found in Irenaeus's original text?  Tertullian after all was a follower of this Montanus who claimed to be the Holy Spirit.  And while the argument does not make its way into Tertullian's Prescription there are parallels with respect to the appendix 'Against All Heresies' which is attacked to the Prescription in most manuscripts.

For instance the appendix says that "of these [heretics] the first of all is Simon Magus, who in the Acts of the Apostles earned a condign and just sentence from the Apostle Peter." Interestingly
as Irenæus the interpreter has written in his injunctions against heresies. For some of them have dared to say that they were themselves the Holy Ghost—of whom the first was Simon , the sorcerer spoken of in the Acts of the Apostles; for when he was cast out, he presumed to teach such doctrines ... Wherefore was Simon the sorcerer condemned? Was it not that he came to the Apostles, and said, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost? For he said not, Give me also the fellowship of the Holy Ghost, but Give me the power; that he might sell to others that which could not be sold, and which he did not himself possess. He offered money also to them who had no possessions ; and this, though he saw men bringing the prices of the things sold, and laying them at the Apostles' feet. And he considered not that they who trod under foot the wealth which was brought for the maintenance of the poor, were not likely to give the power of the Holy Ghost for a bribe. But what say they to Simon? Your money perish with you, because you have thought to purchase the gift of God with money. 
Of course this information could have come directly from Acts but it is worth noting that despite sharing the same information Book One of Adversus Haereses does not describe Simon as 'the first' of the heresies.

But again, Cyril is certainly not referring to our Against Heresies.  There is nowhere where it is said that Simon claimed to be the Holy Spirit.  Moreover the MS makes clear the title of the work was the Prescriptions Against Heresies.  So we have a work of Irenaeus entitled the Prescriptions Against Heresies which emphasized a commonality among various early heretical groups - they claimed to be the Holy Spirit.

While no MS of Tertullian's Prescription Against Heresies has this line of thought (not surprisingly as Tertullian was a Montanist) it is worth noting that the appendix to his Prescription makes reference to the following in association with his own very sect:
The common blasphemy (among the Cataphrygians) lies in their saying that the Holy Spirit was in the apostles indeed, the Paraclete was not; and in their saying that the Paraclete has spoken in Montanus more things than Christ brought forward into (the compass of) the Gospel, and not merely more, but likewise better and greater.
I think we can acknowledge that Irenaeus wrote a text called Prescriptions Against Heresies, that this book was known to Cyril of Jerusalem and in the library used by the bishop and may have been related to a treatise used by Tertullian to write out his Refutations Against Heresies given that Tertullian's writings are so indebted to Irenaeus.  Yet we cannot prove any relationship yet.

How Much of Early Christian Literature is Recycled?

Matthew and Luke are forgeries of Mark's gospel.  No one lays the situation out like that but given the way 'textual recycling' follows among the earliest Patristic sources I am not entirely sure it is not warranted.  The relationship between Justin and Irenaeus on the one hand and Justin and Irenaeus and Hippolytus and Tertullian will be the subject of my next series of posts.  All of this will build to ask the question - to what degree of certainty can we have that Cyril of Jerusalem's mention of Irenaeus's (lost) Prescriptions Against Heresies has a relationship with Tertullian's Prescription Against Heresies?

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Stephan Huller's Observations by Stephan Huller
is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License.