Tuesday, June 8, 2010


So today I am thinking and writing about encratism, a severe form of asceticism that did not even allow for marriage since it was conceived to be a state of sin. It is a strange phenomenon in the early church, and it looks to me like it was there from as early as we can track the church because the Corinthian correspondence lends me to believe that Paul was addressing these issues already. I hope to explore Tatian today.


Boudewijn Koole van Brigdamme said...

Dear April,

Very interesting subject!
Encratism was there even before 'Christianity' and so before the First Century. Nevertheless the whole Latin virginitas stemmed from it as welle as Syrian ascetism. Much success with the research and writing!

Boudewijn Koole-Huibregtse, Driebergen, Holland

Stephan Huller said...

You can't meaningfully explore the tradition without taking a stand on the claim that Titian (or Tatian as he is known in the West) was apostatized from Justin's teachings. Of course the orthodox claim is garbage but so many writers avoid taking a stand on the probability of this statement in Irenaeus that what follows in their discussion is ultimately meaningless. Once we stop maligning Tatian's implicit claim things start to get interesting. The claim that Justin was just like us - i.e. thoroughly orthodox - seem far more suspect. I suspect that Hippolytus's Justin (Justinus) might well have been the real Justin of history ...

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geoffhudson.blogspot.com said...

What do you think this meant?

"I wish that all men were as I am."
1 Cor. 7:7.

geoffhudson.blogspot.com said...

Did the writer mean he wished all men were married?

geoffhudson.blogspot.com said...

1 Cor. 1:8 has "Now to the unmarried", implying that the text immediately before applied to the married, i.e. the writer. The "as I am" at the end of 1:8 is a later edit, as is the "as I am" of verse 7 which was originally: "I wish that all men were married". Verse 8then follows quite naturally. And we are into a Jewish story.

geoffhudson.blogspot.com said...

"Paul" may well be addressing the "issues" but as an editor of an existing text.