Melito of Sardis on Christ in the Old Testament

Melito of Sardis on Christ in the Old Testament March 17, 2019

At last year’s SBL I picked up a Greek/English diglot of Melito of Sardis, On Pascha, ed. and trans. Alistair C. Stewart (Yonkers, NY: St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 2016). One thing I’ve noticed is how the apostles and church fathers had no inhibitions about finding/seeing/imagining Christ in the Old Testament. Melito’s pascha is a case in point in § 57-60.

The Lord made advance preparation for his own suffering in the patriarchs and in the prophets and in the whole people; through the law and the prophets he sealed them.
That which more recently and most excellently came to pass he arranged from of old.
For when it would come to pass it would find faith, having been foreseen of old.

Thus the mystery of the Lord, prefigured from of old through the vision of a type, is today fulfilled and has found faith, even though people think it something new.

For the mystery of the Lord is both new and old; old with respect to the law but new with respect to grace. But if you scrutinize the type through its outcome you will discern him.

Thus if you wish to see the mystery of the Lord, look at Abel who is likewise slain,
at Isaac who is likewise tied up,
at Joseph who is likewise traded,
at Moses who is likewise exposed,
at David who is likewise hunted down,
at the prophets who likewise suffer for the sake of Christ.

And look at the sheep, slaughtered in the land of Egypt, which saved Israel through its blood whilst Egypt was struck down.

"Yes he certainly seems to overlook passages like Mathew 25:41 & Jude 7 "eternal fire", ..."

Revelation, Lake of Fire, Judgement of ..."
"Let's put your thesis on a firm basis; adduce the irrefutable, falsifiable, evidence for the ..."

Paula Fredriksen, the Early Church, and ..."
"It is an interesting epistemological principle that you are using. If the story contains miracles ..."

Paula Fredriksen, the Early Church, and ..."
"All sorts of weird things happen in faerie tales, no matter how incongruous or contradictory ..."

Paula Fredriksen, the Early Church, and ..."

Browse Our Archives

What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment