Hippolytus: This is Jesus of Nazareth

Hippolytus of Rome(ca A.D. 160–236.) was a disciple of Irenæus and a brilliant theologian. He was a defender of Logos doctrine that distinguished the persons of the Trinity. In Against The Heresy of One Noetus, Hippolytus gave a wonderful description of Jesus of Nazareth:

This (Word) was preached by the law and the prophets as destined to come into the world. And even as He was preached then, in the same manner also did He come and manifest Himself, being by the Virgin and the Holy Spirit made a new man; for in that He had the heavenly (nature) of the Father, as the Word and the earthly (nature), as taking to Himself the flesh from the old Adam by the medium of the Virgin, He now, coming forth into the world, was manifested as God in a body, coming forth too as a perfect man. For it was not in mere appearance or by conversion, but in truth, that He became man.

Thus then, too, though demonstrated as God, He does not refuse the conditions proper to Him as man, since He hungers and toils and thirsts in weariness, and flees in fear, and prays in trouble. And He who as God has a sleepless nature, slumbers on a pillow. And He who for this end came into the world, begs off from the cup of suffering. And in an agony He sweats blood, and is strengthened by an angel, who Himself strengthens those who believe on Him, and taught men to despise death by His work.

And He who knew what manner of man Judas was, is betrayed by Judas. And He, who formerly was honoured by him as God, is contemned by Caiaphas. And He is set at nought by Herod, who is Himself to judge the whole earth. And He is scourged by Pilate, who took upon Himself our infirmities. And by the soldiers He is mocked, at whose behest stand thousands of thousands and myriads of myriads of angels and archangels. And He who fixed the heavens like a vault is fastened to the cross by the Jews.

And He who is inseparable from the Father cries to the Father, and commends to Him His spirit; and bowing His head, He gives up the ghost, who said, “I have power to lay down my life, and I have power to take it again;” and because He was not overmastered by death, as being Himself Life, He said this: “I lay it down of myself.” And He who gives life bountifully to all, has His side pierced with a spear.

And He who raises the dead is wrapped in linen and laid in a sepulchre, and on the third day He is raised again by the Father, though Himself the Resurrection and the Life. For all these things has He finished for us, who for our sakes was made as we are. For “Himself hath borne our infirmities, and carried our diseases; and for our sakes He was afflicted,” as Isaiah the prophet has said.

This is He who was hymned by the angels, and seen by the shepherds, and waited for by Simeon, and witnessed to by Anna. This is He who was inquired after by the wise men, and indicated by the star; He who was engaged in His Father’s house, and pointed to by John, and witnessed to by the Father from above in the voice, “This is my beloved Son; hear ye Him.” He is crowned victor against the devil.(Hippolytus 1886: 230 paragraphs added)

I called this a gospel according to Hipppolytus.

Source: Christian Classics Ethereal Library (Public Domain)

Hippolytus of Rome. (1886). Against the Heresy of One Noetus S. D. F. Salmond, Trans.). In A. Roberts, J. Donaldson & A. C. Coxe (Eds.), The Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume V: Fathers of the Third Century: Hippolytus, Cyprian, Novatian, Appendix (A. Roberts, J. Donaldson & A. C. Coxe, Ed.) . Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Company.

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6 thoughts on “Hippolytus: This is Jesus of Nazareth

  1. Very nice.

    Hippolytus of Rome is an interesting study. He came into conflict with the popes of his time and seems to have headed a schismatic group as a rival bishop of Rome. For that reason he is sometimes considered the first Antipope. He opposed the Roman bishops who softened the penitential system to accommodate the large number of new pagan converts. His writings show great knowledge and eloquence.

    Interesting, I’m in the middle of a rough draft of a new post on how each of the 12 apostles died and I am using Hippolytus as the source and Eusebius (c. AD 263 – 339) for corroboration.

    Judas

    We all know what happened to him…

    Andrew
    According to Hippolytus: Andrew preached to the Scythians [modern day Georgia] and Thracians [modern day Bulgaria], and was crucified, suspended on an olive tree, at Patrae, a town of Achaia [Greece]; and there too he was buried.

    Bartholomew

    According to Hippolytus, Bartholomew preached in India: Bartholomew, again, preached to the Indians, to whom he also gave the Gospel according to Matthew, and was crucified with his head downward, and was buried in Allanum, a town of the great Armenia [modern day southern Georgia].

    Eusebius, in his Church History, confirms the ministry of Bartholomew in India, and adds an eye witness account: About that time, Pantaenus, a man highly distinguished for his learning, had charge of the school of the faithful in Alexandria… Pantaenus…is said to have gone to India. It is reported that among persons there who knew of Christ, he found the Gospel according to Matthew, which had anticipated his own arrival. For Bartholomew, one of the apostles, had preached to them, and left with them the writing of Matthew in the Hebrew language, which they had preserved till that time. —- (Book 5, Chapter 10)

    James, Son of Alphaeus

    Hippolytus identifies that James was stoned to death in Jerusalem: And James the son of Alphaeus, when preaching in Jerusalem, was stoned to death by the Jews, and was buried there beside the temple.

    James, Son of Zebedee

    James was the brother of John, the disciple “that Jesus loved”.

    According to the Book of Acts in the New Testament, James was killed by Herod:

    Act 12:1 And at that time Herod the king threw on his hands to oppress some of those of the church.
    Act 12:2 And he killed James the brother of John with the sword.

    This is confirmed by Hippolytus: James, his brother, when preaching in Judea, was cut off with the sword by Herod the tetrarch, and was buried there.

    Eusebius descibed more precisely what was cut off of James: First Stephen was stoned to death by them, and after him James, the son of Zebedee and the brother of John, was beheaded… (Book 3, Chapter 5)

    John, brother of James and son of Zebedee

    John was one of the few disciples that did not die a cruel death, but of “old age”.

    Eusebius discusses the reason that John wrote his Gospel:

    “Matthew and John have left us written memorials, and they, tradition says, were led to write only under the pressure of necessity…And when Mark and Luke had already published their Gospels, they say that John, who had employed all his time in proclaiming the Gospel orally, finally proceeded to write for the following reason. The three Gospels already mentioned having come into the hands of all and into his own too, they say that he accepted them and bore witness to their truthfulness; but that there was lacking in them an account of the deeds done by Christ at the beginning of his ministry.” (Book 3, Chapter 24)

    According to Hippolytus, John was banished by Domitian to the Isle of Patmos, and later died in Ephesus:

    John, again, in Asia, was banished by Domitian the king to the isle of Patmos, in which also he wrote his Gospel and saw the apocalyptic vision; and in Trajan’s time he fell asleep at Ephesus, where his remains were sought for, but could not be found.

    Matthew/Levi

    Eusebius referenced to Bishop Papias of Hierapolis, as early as c. 110 A.D., bearing witness to Matthew’s authorship of his gospel: Matthew put together the oracles [of the Lord] in the Hebrew language, and each one interpreted them as best he could.” (Eusebius, Book 3, Chapter 39)

    According to Hippolytus: Matthew wrote the Gospel in the Hebrew tongue, and published it at Jerusalem, and fell asleep at Hierees, a town of Parthia.\224 [Parthia is near modern day Tehran]

    Simon/Peter

    Eusebius, quoting Papias of Hierapolis (c. 110 A.D.), records a tradition that the Gospel of Mark preserved the Gospel as preached by Peter: “Mark having become the interpreter of Peter, wrote down accurately whatsoever he remembered…. he accompanied Peter…” —- (Book 3, Chapter 39)

    Irenaeus (c. 180 A.D.) records a similar tradition, and mentions that Peter and Paul founded the Church in Rome: “Matthew also issued a written Gospel among the Hebrews in their own dialect, while Peter and Paul were preaching at Rome, and laying the foundations of the Church. After their departure, Mark, the disciple and interpreter of Peter, did also hand down to us in writing what had been preached by Peter…” —- (Irenaeus, “Against Heresies”, Book 3, Chapter 1)

    Eusebius records that Peter was put to death under Nero in Rome: It is, therefore, recorded that Paul was beheaded in Rome itself, and that Peter likewise was crucified under Nero. This account of Peter and Paul is substantiated by the fact that their names are preserved in the cemeteries of that place even to the present day. —- (Book 2, Chapter 25)

    (Paul was a Roman citizen and could not be crucified but got an “easier” death sentence)

    Hippolytus confirmed the fact that Peter was crucified by Nero in Rome:

    Peter preached the Gospel in Pontus, and Galatia, and Cappadocia, and Betania, and Italy, and Asia, and was afterwards crucified by Nero in Rome with his head downward, as he had himself desired to suffer in that manner.

    Philip

    According to Hippolytus, Philip preached and was executed in what today is eastern Turkey: Philip preached in Phrygia, and was crucified in Hierapolis with his head downward in the time of Domitian, and was buried there.

    Simon the Zealot

    According to Hippolytus, Simon the Zealot was the second Bishop of Jerusalem: Simon the Zealot, the son of Clopas, who is also called Jude, became bishop of Jerusalem after James the Just, and fell asleep and was buried there at the age of 120 years.

    Thaddaeus/Judas son of James

    According to Mat 10:3 (KJV): Philip, and Bartholomew; Thomas, and Matthew the publican; James the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus…. Thaddaeus is also known as Lebbaeus.

    Hippolytus records: Jude, who is also called Lebbaeus, preached to the people of Edessa, and to all Mesopotamia, and fell asleep at Berytus, and was buried there.

    Thomas

    Hippolytus records that Thomas was an active missionary, and that he met his fate in India: And Thomas preached to the Parthians, Medes, Persians, Hyrcanians, Bactrians, and Margians, and was thrust through in the four members of his body with a pine spear at Calamene, the city of India, and was buried there.

    Christianity is NOT religion.

    http://WalkTheWay.org

    Peace

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