Saturday, January 2, 2010

Tertullian on Angelomorphic Christology.

According to Danielou, Tertullian was not keen on Angelomorphic Christology.  This makes sense in his mind because from what we can tell from the sources, there was a heretical Jewish-Latin Christianity which thrived before the 3rd century in the west.  The tendency of this form of sectarian Jewish Christianity was 1. Modalism or 2. Anglomorphic Christology.  The later tended to see Jesus as an incarnation of a high Angel (such as Michael or Gabriel).

The Apologists of course had no trouble with the idea of Jesus as the Angel of the Lord in the OT, but they existed in a different polemical situation.  Furthermore, they did not understand this to exclude the divinity of Christ (as Tertullian's opponent thought it did- though again, they tended towards modalism and subordinationalism themselves).

This would explain why Augustine had such a trouble with the notion of Angelomorphic Christology.  Not only was it an aspect of his Anti-Arianism, but it was part of his inheritance from early Latin theology. 

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