Title

Rapture of the Christ: The "Pre-Ascension Ascension" of Jesus in the Theology of Faustus Socinus (1539--1604)

Publication Date

1-2009

Abstract

In this essay I examine a rather quirky and possibly novel teaching of Faustus Socinus (1539--1604): what George H. Williams calls a "pre-Ascension ascension" (hereafter PAA) of Christ into heaven. Faustus claimed that this bodily ascent into heaven took place before Christ's final visible ascension to heaven some time between his baptism and the commencement of his earthly teaching ministry. The theory states in brief that Christ, "after he was born a human, and before he began to discharge the office entrusted to him by God, his own Father, ... was in heaven, and abode there for some time." Christ took this heavenly sojourn "that he might hear from God himself and ... see in his very presence what he was soon to proclaim and reveal to the world in God's own name."1 In another place Socinus states that Jesus, "after his birth from the virgin, and before he announced the gospel, was raptured into heaven (in caelum raptus fuerit). There he learned from God himself what he was to reveal to the human race.

Keywords

Socinus, Faustus, 1539-1604; Jesus Christ--Ascension

Publication Title

Harvard Theological Review

Volume

102

Issue

1

First Page

75

Last Page

99

DOI of Published Version

10.1017/S0017816009000042

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