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Document Details :
Title: Der Menschensohn ist Israel
Subtitle: Eine Untersuchung zu Joh 1,51 und zur Oratio Ioseph
Author(s): DOCHHORN, Jan
Journal: Ephemerides Theologicae Lovanienses
Volume: 92 Issue: 4 Date: 2016
The Oratio Ioseph (attested only in excerpts from Origen) is a typical product of testamentary literature and probably stems from Palestine. Its remnants display a speech of Jacob (probably to his descendants) in which he identifies himself as the highest angel, Israel, and provides an explanation of this name as the ‘man who sees God’, taking its syllables as hints to Hebrew words ( אישׁ + ראה + אל – a technique well known from the onomastic tradition, which is somewhat neglected in Early Jewish studies; cf. the collections of de Lagarde and Wutz). The concept of Israel as the highest archangel was taken up by Philo in Conf 146-147, where this Israel is identified with the Logos, and, independently from Philo, by the Gospel of John 1,51, which unlike Philo reactivates the echoes of the patriarchal tradition. Both the gnostic treatise De Origine Mundi and Hippolytus also demonstrate knowledge of the angel Israel. According to this traditio-historical background, the main idea of John 1,51 is not merely a Jesus-Jacob typology (which would hardly be the far-reaching statement to be expected in John 1,51), but the notion that Jesus – as Israel – sees God (cf. John 1,18). Angelologic connotations may be evoked (subordinatianism is not excluded here), but the reader knows already from the very beginnings of the Gospel about the divine nature of Jesus (which can be regarded as the Johannine additum to the primarily angelological concept alluded to in John 1,51).