Laterculus Malalianus, Chapter 12

29 04 2007

The following passage represents the primary theological interest, and the sort of hermeneutics which Theodore of Tarsus brought to bear on his examination of the life of Christ. A soteriology of restoration (recapitulation) dominates the text, while the clearly Irenaean (albeit commonly used) motifs of First Eve-Second Eve/First Adam-Second Adam, virgin earth-Virgin Mary are employed to introduce it. This segues into an unexpected use of number-theory and gestational analysis, the purpose of which is to reconcile the number of years it took Zerubbabel to restore the Jerusalem Temple (46) with some aspect of the life of Christ, thereby showing Christ to be the ultimate Restorer. In her commentary on the text, Jane Stevenson informs us that the exegesis of John 2:19 (in Evangelio ait) is shared with Theodore of Mopsuestia. Ideas we might expect from Theodore of Tarsus, especially in light of the biographical information we are now aware of, are certainly evident in this passage.

Hoc namque loco licet inspicere quicquid pertulerit Christus salus et redemptio nostra, omnia gesta esse in homine pleno cum Deo. Nam quod Christus per angelum Virgini nuntiatur, ad evacuandum consilium serpentis ad Evam in paradiso. Quod autem de Virgine natus est, propter protoplastum Adam, quam de virgine terra et impolluta ad suam fecit imaginem; qui cum suadente diabolo mortis incurrisset exitium, a solo Domino Christo rerum reparatore et conditore ejus corporis et animae, per immortalitatem Christi, restauraretur domicilium. Quod autem decimi mensis limitem tetigisset in Virginis utero, id est dies VI supra mense nono perficiens, quod nullus ex filiis hominum tangit metrum nascendo per semen, nisi solus Christus verus Filius Dei et hominis sine semine natus ex virgine; ita ut fiant dies in una collectione constricti CCLXXVI, qui fiunt allegorice vel per typicam quaestionem; quod ipse affatus in Evangelio ait: Solvite templum hoc, et ego in tribus diebus suscitabo illud. Sed Judaei ignorantes capitulum rationis, protulerunt testimonium veritatis, et ita Domino respondentes aiunt: XL et VI annos aedificatum est templum hoc, et tu in tribus diebus suscitabis illud? Ille autem, inquit evangelista, dicebat de templo corporis sui, cujus dispensationem adprehendere nequiverunt Judaei, ideoque numerum annorum aedificationis templi, quod veri templi formam gerebat, Domino protulerunt: quem numerum non sub Salomone conditore ejusdem templi, sed sub Zorobabel, qui et Esdras, restauratore contigisse perlegitur; eo quod gentes, quae in circuitu erant, opus praepedibant. Nam Salomon annis VII complevit opus aedificii templi Domini.

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