One of the earliest Christian articulations of supersession and deicide comes from the late second-century bishop Melito of Sardis

One of the earliest Christian articulations of supersession and deicide comes from the late second-century bishop Melito of Sardis

Therefore, that which once was valuable, is now without value because that which is truly valuable has appeared

Melito’s beautiful poetry contrasts with the nasty content of what he says about the Jews. It is worth being aware that in Sardis the Jewish community was far more established and powerful than the small, persecuted early Christian movement. Melito was trying to distinguish himself and his followers from the local synagogue which likely shared members with his own congregation. We know Melito was under attack from other Christians for being “too Jewish,” an accusation which had some truth and led him to dramatically differentiate himself. The following excerpts come from Melito’s homily for Easter, around the same time that the Jewish Passover festivities were going on. Presumably some were inclined to celebrate both festivals.

36 Without the model, no work of art arises. Is not that which is to come into existence seen through the model which typifies it? For this reason a pattern of that which is to be is made either out of wax, or out of clay, or out of wood, in order that by the smallness of the model, destined to be destroyed , might be seen that thing which is to arise from it–higher than it in size, and mightier than it in power, and more beautiful than it in appearance, and more elaborate than it in ornamentation.

37 So whenever the thing arises for which the model was made, then that which carried the image of that future thing is destroyed as no longer of use , since it has transmitted its resemblance to that which is by nature true.

The first excerpt describes supersessionism

38 For each thing has its own time: there is a distinct time for the type, there is a distinct time for the material, and there is a distinct time for the truth. You construct the model. You want this, because you see in it the image of the future work. You procure the material for the model. You want this, on account of that which is going to arise because of it. You complete the work and cherish it alone, for only in it do you see both type and the truth.

39 Therefore, if it was like this with models of perishable objects, so indeed will it also be with those of imperishable objects. If it was like this with earthly things, so indeed also will it https://www.maxloan.org/installment-loans-al/ be with heavenly things. For even the Lord’s salvation and his truth were prefigured in the people, and the teaching of the gospel was proclaimed in advance by the law.

40 The people, therefore, became the model for the church, and the law a parabolic sketch. But the gospel became the explanation of the law and its fulfillment, while the church became the storehouse of truth.

41 Therefore, the type had value prior to its realization, and the parable was wonderful prior to its interpretation. This is to say that the people had value before the church came on the scene , and the law was wonderful before the gospel was brought to light.

42 But when the church came on the scene, and the gospel was set forth, the type lost its value by surrendering its significance to the truth, and the law was fulfilled by surrendering its significance to the gospel. Just as the type lost its significance by surrendering its image to that which is true by nature, and as the parable lost its significance by being illumined through the interpretation,

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