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IV

TEACHINGS OF MONTANISM

Some of the Chief Articles in the Dictionary of Christian Biography, Literature etc. Vol. III

William Smith, Henry Wace 1882

Montanism and the Canon.

The most fundamental innovation of Montanist teaching was the theory of an authorized development of Christian doctrine, as opposed to the older theory that Christian doctrine was preached in its completeness by the apostles and that the church had merely to preserve faithfully the tradition of their teaching.

The Montanists did not reject the apostolic revelations nor abandon any doctrines the church had learned from its older teachers. The revelations of the new prophecy were to supplement, not to displace, Scripture. They believed that while the fundamental truths of faith remained unshaken, points both of discipline and doctrine might receive correction. "A process of development was exhibited in God's revelations. It had its rudimentary principle in the religion of nature, its infancy in the law and the prophets, its youth in the gospel, its full maturity only in the dispensation of the Paraclete. Through His enlightenment the dark places of Scripture are made clear, parables made plain, those passages of which heretics had taken advantage cleared of all ambiguity" (Tert. de Virg. Vel. i.; de Res. Carn. 63). Accordingly Tertullian appeals to the new revelations on questions of discipline, e.g. second marriages, and also on questions of doctrine, as in his work against Praxeas and his treatise on the Resurrection of the Flesh.

Some have thought it a thing to be regretted that the church by her condemnation of Montanism should have suppressed the freedom of individual prophesying. But each new prophetic revelation, if acknowledged as divine, would put as great a restraint on future individual speculation as words of Scripture or decree of pope or council. If Montanism had triumphed, Christian doctrine would have been developed, not under the superintendence of the church teachers most esteemed for wisdom, but usually of wild and excitable women. Thus Tertullian himself derives his doctrine as to the materiality and the form of the soul from a revelation made to an ecstatica of his congregation (de Anima, 9). To the Montanists it seemed that if God's Spirit made known anything as true, that truth could not be too extensively published. It is evident from quotations in Epiphanius and Tertullian that the prophecies of Maximilla and Montanus were committed to writing.  To those who believed in their divine inspiration, these would practically form additional Scriptures. Hippolytus tells that the Montanists "have an infinity of books of these prophets whose words they neither examine by reason, nor give heed to those who can, but are carried away by their undiscriminating faith in them, thinking that they learn through their means something more than from the law, the prophets, and the gospels." Didymus is shocked at a prophetical book emanating from a female, whom the apostle did not permit to teach. It would be a mistake to suppose that the Montanistic disputes led to the formation of a N.T. canon. On the contrary, it is plain that when these disputes arose Christians had so far closed their N.T. canon that they were shocked that any modern writing should be made equal to the inspired books of the apostolic age. The Montanist disputes led to the publication of lists recognized by particular churches, and we consider that it was in opposition to the multitude of Montanist prophetic books that Caius in his disputation gave a list recognized by his church. The controversy also made Christians more scrupulous about paying to other books honours like those given to the books of Scripture, and we believe that it was for this reason that the Shepherd of Hermas ceased to have a place in church reading. But still we think it plain from the history that the conception of a closed N.T. canon was found by Montanism and not then created.

Montanist Doctrines and Practices.

The church objected, as against Montanism, to any addition being made to the teaching of Scripture. What, then, was the nature of the additions actually made by the Montanists?

(1) New Fasts.—The prophetesses had ordained that in addition to the ordinary Paschal fast of the church two weeks of what was called Xerophagy should be observed. In these the Montanists abstained, not only from flesh, wine, and the use of the bath, but from all succulent food, e.g. juicy fruit, except on Saturday and Sunday. The weekly stations also, or half fasts, which in the church ended at three p.m., were by Montanists usually continue till evening. The church party resisted the claim that these two new weeks of abstinence were divinely obligatory. The real question was, Had the prophetess God's command for instituting them? This particular revelation only came into prominence because at recurring intervals it put a marked difference between Montanists and Catholics, similar to that which the Paschal fast put between Christians and heathen.

(2) Second Marriages.—On this subject again the difference between the Montanists and the church really reduces itself to the question whether the Paraclete spoke by Montanus. Second marriages had before Montanus been regarded with disfavour in the church. Tertullian deprecates them with almost as much energy in his pre-Montanist work ad Uxorem as afterwards in his Montanist de Monogamia. But however unfavourably such marriages were regarded, their validity and lawfulness were not denied. St. Paul had seemed to declare that such marriages were not forbidden (Rom. vii. 3; I. Cor. vii. 39), and the direction in the pastoral epistles that a bishop should be husband of one wife seemed to leave others free.

(3) Church Discipline.—The treatise of Tertullian (de Pudicitia) shews a controversy of Montanists with the church concerning the power of church officers to give absolution. The occasion was the publication, by one whom Tertullian sarcastically calls "Pontifex Maximus" and "Episcopus Episcoporum," of an edict of pardon to persons guilty of adultery and fornication on due performance of penance. Doubtless a bp. of Rome is intended, and as Hippolytus tells (ix. 12) of Callistus being the first to introduce such laxity in granting absolution, it seems plain that Callistus was referred to. Tertullian holds that for such sin absolution ought never to be given. Not that the sinner was to despair of obtaining God's pardon by repentance; but it was for God alone to pardon; man might not.

(4) Montanus taught “the Priesthood of the People,” and this was a threat to the existing Church clergy. Much of the history of Christianity has been determined by this repetitive struggle between the clergy of the Church and those who would do away with it.

Differences between Montanism and orthodox Christianity

The beliefs of Montanism contrasted with orthodox Christianity in the following ways:

The belief that the prophecies of the Montanists superseded and fulfilled the doctrines proclaimed by the Apostles.

The encouragement of ecstatic prophesying, contrasting with the more sober and disciplined approach to theology dominant in orthodox Christianity at the time and since.

The view that Christians who fell from grace could not be redeemed, also in contrast to the orthodox Christian view that contrition could lead to a sinner's restoration to the church.

A stronger emphasis on the avoidance of sin and church discipline than in orthodox Christianity. They emphasized chastity, including forbidding remarriage.

Some of the Montanists were also "Quartodeciman" ("fourteeners"), preferring to celebrate Easter on the Hebrew calendar date of 14 Nisan, regardless of what day of the week it landed on. The orthodoxy held that Easter should be commemorated on the Sunday following 14 Nisan. (Trevett 1996:202)

Jerome and other church leaders claimed that the Montanists of their own day held the belief that the Trinity consisted of only a single person, similar to Sabellianism, as opposed to the orthodox view that the Trinity is one God of three persons which Tertullian also had held. There were some that were indeed modalistic monarchians (Sabellians) and some that were closer to the Trinitarian doctrine. It is reported that these modalists baptized mentioning the name of Jesus Christ as opposed to mentioning the Trinity. Most of the later Montanists were of the modalistic camp.

<<<<

www.cprf.co.uk/articles/montanism.htm

 Only two books have appeared in English on the subject of Montanism. The first of these, Montanism and the Primitive Church, was written by John de Soyres of Cambridge University in 1878. "Our conclusion," he states, "is that there was nothing [in Montanism] opposite to an article of creed."

He ascribes to Montanism the diverse operations of the Spirit (I Cor. 12:6f.) and the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23), before closing his book with the ominous words: “And where this Spirit shows itself in these fruits, though Popes and Councils may anathematize, the Great Judge will one day reverse their judgment.”

A Jesuit scholar, Walter J. Burghardt, writes, "I can find no persuasive evidence that primitive Montanism was guilty of heresy."

David F. Wright, the Senior Lecturer in Ecclesiastical History at Edinburgh University and the first editor of Themelios, the leading evangelical journal for biblical and theological students in the British Isles, states that the church's rejection of Montanism was "damaging and regrettable:" The reaction against Montanism brought upon the church impoverishment more detrimental than the upset caused by the unbalanced excesses of the New Prophecy.

At first, there seems to be something to the claims of recent scholarship. Writing of his Montanist beliefs, Tertullian expressly declared, “ The rule of faith, indeed, is completely one, alone unalterable and irreformable, that is, in believing in one God alone, omnipotent, creator of the world, and in his son Jesus Christ, born of the virgin Mary, crucified under Pontius Pilate, resurrected from the dead on the third day, received into heaven, now seated at the Father's right hand, who will come to judge the living and the dead by the resurrection of their flesh also” (On the Veiling of Virgins 1.4).

Hippolytus admitted, "They, like the Church, confess that God is the Father of the universe and the creator of all things, and they accept all that the gospel testifies about Christ."28 The fourth-century heresy-hunter Epiphanius gives a similar testimony, "They use the Old and the New Testaments, and likewise say that there is a resurrection of the dead" (Medicine 49.2; cf. 48.1.3). "They hold the same view of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit as the Holy Catholic Church" (Medicine 48.1.4).

Thus as regards to the fundamental faith, Montanism is in accordance with the faith that was once and for all handed down to our fathers.

The question is did the revelation end with the Apostles.  Certainly not.
Jesus did promise the paraclete to reveal the mysteries still hidden to us individuals.  
Here are the basic verses.

"I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor, who will never leave you. He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world at large cannot receive him, because it isn't looking for him and doesn't recognize him. But you do, because he lives with you now and later will be in you.”

"But when the Father sends the Counselor as my representative -- and by the Counselor I mean the Holy Spirit --
he will teach you everything
and
will remind you of everything I myself have told you."
John 14:16-17, 26

"When the Spirit of truth comes,
 he will guide you into all truth.
He will not be presenting his own ideas;
he will be telling you what he has heard.
He will tell you about the future.
He will bring me glory by revealing to you whatever he receives from me.
All that the Father has is mine;
this is what I mean when I say that
the Spirit will reveal to you whatever he receives from me."
John 16:13-15

"When the Holy Spirit has come upon you, you will receive power and will tell people about me everywhere -- in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." Acts 1:8

“Suddenly, there was a sound from heaven like the roaring of a mighty windstorm in the skies above them, and it filled the house where they were meeting. Then, what looked like flames or tongues of fire appeared and settled on each of them. And everyone present was filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in other tongues, as the Holy Spirit gave them this ability.”
Acts 2:2-4

We know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.
Romans 5:5

Evidently the Bible as we have today which is closed at the end of the Period of the Apostles is not the complete revelation. We closed the canon at that time as a safety so that everything that follows must conform to it as a safety feature. Don’t forget most of the letters in the New Testament was written by a Paul who probably never say Jesus nor ever was a disciple of disciple Jesus when Jesus was alive on this earth during his incarnation.  He was given the knowledge by revelation.  He himself does not know whether he was in his body or out of the body.  The spirit took him out of this world into the third heaven.  These are the ways Holy Spirit function.  It is not under the authority of the Church leaders nor of the Apostles even.

It is true that all spirit possessions have that aspect.  I have seen possession induced by continuous noise, Songs, Music, Dancing or even continuous praise and worship.  How do we know the possession is by the Holy Spirit or by Evil Spirit.


 

 

Jerome’s letter To Marcella on the Doctrines of Montanism

St. Jerome (ca. 347-420), one of the four Latin Fathers of the Church (along with Sts. Augustine, Ambrose, and Gregory the Great), is particularly famous for translating the Bible into Latin, known as the Vulgate Bible. The saint spent four years in the Syrian desert as a hermit, mortifying his flesh and elevating his spirit through study. The subject has given Pinturicchio the opportunity to depict a monumental, rocky landscape, while the lizard and the scorpion call attention to the desolation of the scene. The open book contains a passage from a letter attributed to St. Augustine in which Jerome is compared to St. John the Baptist, another saint who lived in the wilderness.

An effort having been made to convert Marcella to Montanism, Jerome here summarizes for her its leading doctrines, which he contrasts with those of the Church. Written at Rome in 385 A.D.

1. As regards the passages brought together from the gospel of John with which a certain votary of Montanus has assailed you, passages in which our Saviour promises that He will go to the Father, and that He will send the Paraclete — as regards these, the Acts of the Apostles inform us both for what time the promises were made, and at what time they were actually fulfilled. Ten days had elapsed, we are told, from the Lord's ascension and fifty from His resurrection, when the Holy Spirit came down, and the tongues of the believers were cloven, so that each spoke every language. Then it was that, when certain persons of those who as yet believed not declared that the disciples were drunk with new wine, Peter standing in the midst of the apostles, and of all the concourse said: "You men of Judæa and all you that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you and hearken to my words: for these are not drunken as you suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day. But this is that which was spoken of by the prophet Joel. And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, I will pour out of my spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: and on my servants, and on my handmaidens I will pour out...of my spirit." Acts 2:14-18

2. Prophecy and Tongues have ceased with Apostles

If, then, the apostle Peter, upon whom the Lord has founded the Church, Matthew 16:18 has expressly said that the prophecy and promise of the Lord were then and there fulfilled, how can we claim another fulfilment for ourselves? If the Montanists reply that Philip's four daughters prophesied Acts 21:9 at a later date, and that a prophet is mentioned named Agabus, and that in the partition of the spirit, prophets are spoken of as well as apostles, teachers and others, and that Paul himself prophesied many things concerning heresies still future, and the end of the world; we tell them that we do not so much reject prophecy— for this is attested by the passion of the Lord— as refuse to receive prophets whose utterances fail to accord with the Scriptures old and new.

3.  Faith in Sabellianism:
Sabellianism in the Eastern church or Patripassianism in the Western church (also known as modalism, modalistic monarchianism, or modal monarchism) is the nontrinitarian or anti-trinitarian belief that the Heavenly Father, Resurrected Son, and Holy Spirit are three different modes or aspects of one monadic God, as perceived by the believer, rather than three distinct persons within the Godhead

In the first place we differ from the Montanists regarding the rule of faith. 
We distinguish the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit as three persons, but unite them as one substance. They, on the other hand, following
the doctrine of Sabellius, force the Trinity into the narrow limits of a single personality.

Second Marriage forbidden.
We, while we do not encourage them, yet allow second marriages, since Paul bids the younger widows to marry. 1 Timothy 5:14 They suppose a repetition of marriage a sin so awful that he who has committed it is to be regarded as an adulterer.

Three fasts in an year
We, according to the apostolic tradition (in which the whole world is at one with us), fast through one Lent yearly; whereas they keep three fasts in the year as though three saviours had suffered. I do not mean, of course, that it is unlawful to fast at other times through the year— always excepting Pentecost — only that while in Lent it is a duty of obligation, at other seasons it is a matter of choice.

Hierarchy difference in order
With us, again, the bishops occupy the place of the apostles, but with them a bishop ranks not first but third. For while they put first the patriarchs of Pepusa in Phrygia, and place next to these the ministers called stewards, the bishops are relegated to the third or almost the lowest rank. No doubt their object is to make their religion more pretentious by putting that last which we put first.

Strict membership rule
Again they close the doors of the Church to almost every fault, while we read daily, "I desire the repentance of a sinner rather than his death," Ezekiel 18:23 and "Shall they fall and not arise, says the Lord," Jeremiah 8:4 and once more "Return ye backsliding children and I will heal your backslidings." Jeremiah 3:22 Their strictness does not prevent them from themselves committing grave sins, far from it; but there is this difference between us and them, that, whereas they in their self-righteousness blush to confess their faults, we do penance for ours, and so more readily gain pardon for them.

4. Dispensation of Father, Son and Holy Spirit

I pass over their sacraments of sin, made up as they are said to be, of sucking children subjected to a triumphant martyrdom. I prefer, I say, not to credit these; accusations of blood-shedding may well be false. But I must confute the open blasphemy of men who say that God first determined in the Old Testament to save the world by Moses and the prophets, but that finding Himself unable to fulfil His purpose He took to Himself a body of the Virgin, and preaching under the form of the Son in Christ, underwent death for our salvation. Moreover that, when by these two steps He was unable to save the world, He last of all descended by the Holy Spirit upon Montanus and those demented women Prisca and Maximilia; and that thus the mutilated and emasculate Montanus possessed a fullness of knowledge such as was never claimed by Paul; for he was content to say, "We know in part, and we prophesy in part," and again, "Now we see through a glass darkly." 1 Corinthians 13:9, 12

These are statements which require no refutation. To expose the infidelity of the Montanists is to triumph over it. Nor is it necessary that in so short a letter as this I should overthrow the several absurdities which they bring forward. You are well acquainted with the Scriptures; and, as I take it, you have written, not because you have been disturbed by their cavils, but only to learn my opinion about them.

Source. Translated by W.H. Fremantle, G. Lewis and W.G. Martley. From Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Second Series, Vol. 6. Edited by Philip Schaff and Henry Wace. (Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1893.) Revised and edited for New Advent by Kevin Knight. <http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/3001041.htm>.

  

THE ORACLES OF MONTANISM

This is a collection of the Oracles of Montanists during their early periods as Quoted by their contempories   
“A Study of early montanism and its relation to the Christian Church  William Gordon Murdoch, 1946 Birmigham
University
http://etheses.bham.ac.uk/4543/1/Murdoch46PhD.pdf  and http://www.religion.ucsb.edu/faculty/thomas/classes/rgst116b/MontanistOracles.pdf

They give insight to the nature and content of their oracles and some insight into their theology.

Oracles and spirit possesion are common to all religions and cultures around the world.

"In China, the use of oracle bones dates as far back as the Shang Dynasty, (1600–1046 BC).  In Egypt, the earliest known oracle was in the renowned temple of Per-Wadjet. The temple was dedicated to the worship of Wadjet and may have been the source for the oracular tradition that spread to Ancient Greece from Egypt. The later Greeks called both the goddess and the city Buto".

in Hellenic culture by c. 1300 BC  the oracles were associated with the cults of nature and fertility, the most famous of these was the Delphic Oracle of the temple of Delphi".  In ancient India, the oracle was known as Akashwani, literally meaning "voice from the sky" and was related to the message of God. Oracles played key roles in many of the major incidents of the epics Mahabharat and Ramayana. In South Indian languages , "Oracle" is mentioned as "Ashareeravani" ,meaning “voice from the one without a body” It is also known as "Daiva Vaakku". It literally means 'Words of God'.  It is a common practice even today in every temple festival. See  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XIJgiGVx7Xo


 

A

AS CITED BY EPHIPANIUS

 Ephanius used the same original manuscript as Philaster, i.e., "The Syntaana of  Hippolytus". He seems also to have had access to a book of Montanist oracles. In addition to these he drew quite largely from the verbal tradition of his time.

Oracle No. 1. Montanus starts his oracle thus: 
"It is I, the Lord God all powerful, who dwell in man."

Oracle No. 2. Montanus further states:
"Neither an angel nor an ambassador, but I the Lord God the Father am come."  That the prophet was conscious of a real union with God

Oracle No. 3 Maximilla states,
"Hearken not to me, but hearken to Christ.” 

Oracle 4  Montanus says,
"Behold, man is as a lyre, and I myself play as a plectrum. Man sleeps and I watch. Behold, the Lord is He who takes away men's hearts out of them and gives hearts to men.”

These two oracles illustrate the Montanist theory of inspiration and the place of ecstasy in the experience of  the prophets. Montanus comparison of the lyre and the plectrum. is not found in the sacred Scriptures, but occurs in Cicero and Prudentius in Greek Philosophy. Christian literature offers similar language. In the “ Odes of Solomon vi” it is stated, "As the hand on the harp, so the Lord's Spirit on His members."

The author of the Cohortatio ad Graecos: De monarchia ; Oratio ad Graecos edited by Miroslav Marcovich“Graecos stated concerning the prophets:

“They ought to present themselves pure to the energy of the divine Spirit in order that the divine plectrum itself, descending from heaven, and using righteous men as an instrument like a harp or lyre, might reveal to us the knowledge of things divine and heavenly.(Cohortatio ad Graecos. Viii)

Athengoras also uses the figure of the musician to illustrate how the prophets became the instrument of the Spirit:

Lifted in ecstasy above the natural operations of their minds by the impulses of the divine Spirit, they uttered the things with which they were inspired, the Spirit making use of them as a flute player "breathes into a flute.° (Athengoras, Leg. Ix)

Hippolytus speaking of the prophets states: “They had always in them the Logos as a plectrum, actuated by which they announced those things which God willed.

Clement of Alexandria, speaking of the lifeless instruments,  lyre and harp, compares them with the living instrument: A beautiful breathing instrument of music the Lord made man, after His own image.(Hippolytus, Be Antichr. ii;)

Plato's view of inspiration is somewhat similar: “No man in his wits attains prophetic truth and inspiration ....His intelligence is either enthralled by sleep or he is demented by some distemper or possession.” ( Plato, Timaeus. Ixxii)

Speaking of the priestesses of Delphi and Dodona in the Phaedrus, Plato stated that they uttered few things of value in their sane minds  ; they were supposed to enter into an abnormal condition of trance for the purpose of uttering their oracles.

Oracle 5.
"The Lord has sent me as adherent, teacher, interpreter of this work, the promise and the covenant, compelled, willing and not willing, to learn the knowledge of God." (Epiphanius, Panarion. Xliii)

The oracle reveals a duality of divine and human consciousness in Maximilla’s experience.

Oracle 6. 
"What do you say (of) the superman who is saved?" 'The righteous shall shine a hundred times brighter than the sun, and those who are small among you, once  saved, shall shine a hundred times more than the moon.”

Oracle 7.
She whom they call Maximilla the prophetess declares "After me there will no longer be a prophetess but the end." “

Oracle 8. 
"In the form of a woman, clad in a dazzling robe, Christ came to me. He imparted wisdom to me and revealed to me that this place (Pepuza) is sacred and that here Jerusalem will descend from heaven."

The prophetess here tells of a vision akin to that of Cornelius recorded in the Acts of the Apostles.

"Shining raiment" is the radiance in which Christ appeared to the prophetess. This type of appearance of a heavenly messenger is common in both the Old and New Testaments. In this oracle the prophetess declares in full consciousness the dream which she had during sleep and she gives it as a revelation of Christ.

This is probably the only time that Christ is said to appear as a woman. However, this likeness may have been in the dazzling white apparel or, as in the Gospel to the Hebrews and in sundry fragments of Gnostic origin, where the feminine is applied to the Spirit.


 

B

 ORACLES FOUND IN THE WRITINGS OF

EUSEBIUS, DIDYMUS AND TERTULLIAN

Oracle 9.
 "And let not the spirit which speaks through Maximilla say in the same work - that according to Asterius Urbanus, 'I am pursued as a wolf from sheep. I am not a wolf; I am Utterance, Spirit, and Power.”

Oracle 10. 
"For he says, Montanus said: *1 am the Father and the Son and the Paraclete.”

Oracle 11.
"The Word, therefore, is both in the Father always - as He said, 'I am in the Father; and always with God, - according to what is written, "And the Word was with God;  and never separate from the Father or other than the Father, since 'I and the Father are one. This Word will "be an emanation of the truth, the guardian of the Unity; whence we declare that the Son is a prolation from the Father, but not separated from Him. For God sent forth the Word, as the Paraclete also declares, just as the root puts forth the trunk of the tree, and the fountain the river, and the sun theray. For these examples are also emanations of the substances from which they proceed."(Tertullian, Adv. Fraxean. Viii)

Oracle 12.
"And if you ask counsel of the Spirit, what does He approve more than that utterance of the Spirit?

Oracle 13.
"So also elsewhere do not choose to die on bridal beds, nor in miscarriages, nor in fevers, but as martyrs, that He may be glorified who has suffered for us." (Tertullian, De Fusa. Ix)

Oracle 14.
"'But,' you say, 'the Church has the power of forgiving sins. This I acknowledge and take account of more than you; I who have, in the persons of the new prophets, the Paraclete Himself who says, 'The Church has the power to forgive sins; but I will not use it, lest they commit other sins. '"

The basis for the belief that the Church had power to forgive sins is probably found in the Gospel according to  John xx, 22-23:”And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost. Whosoever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whosoever sins ye retain, they are retained.”

Oracle 15.
 "Again, through the holy prophetess, Prisca it is proclaimed that the holy minister is competent to administer sanctity. 'For purity, makes for harmony, and they see visions, and bowing their heads, they hear distinct voices, as salutary as they are mysterious.'"

Philo had already emphasised this point in  Quis Rerum Divinarum:

“For the prophet utters nothing of his own, in all his words there is to be discerned the Voice of Another. It is not lawful for any non-virtuous man to become the interpreter of God, so by the fitness of things no vicious man is capable of the state of enthusiasm. Such things'belong to the wise man alone, because the wise man alone is the sounding instrument of God, struck and played by God after an invisible sort.

Philo calls this possession by God "divine madness."  Philo's idealized description of the order of theTherapeutae comes to its high point in depicting the nocturnal ceremony which conferred the rapture of ecstatic enthusiasm upon the ascetic who practised abstemious living and continual meditation.

It is clear from this oracle that the Montanists believed that purity of heart was necessary before one could receive that insight which comes from divine illumination.

(Philo, Vita Contemp.. 83-89.)

Oracle l6.
"Thus far touching my eulogy of the flesh, in opposition to its enemies, who are, notwithstanding, its greatest friends also; for there is nobody who lives so much in accordance with the flesh as they who deny the resurrection of the flesh. They deny its punishment and they despise its discipline. It is a shrewd saying which the Paraclete utters concerning these persons through the prophetess Prisca: 'They are carnal, and yet they hate the flesh "( Tert., De Resurrectione Carnis, xi:) 

 
 
 

 

 

 

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