Bishop Gregory (hgr) wrote,
Bishop Gregory

Церковь как башня: антивавилонская и не очень

я тут веду потихоньку семинар по иудейским традициям в раннем христианстве -- по интернету для испанских студентов, на базе одного университета в Мадриде. время от времени я для них делаю разные зарисовки на полях, вытекающие из нужд дискуссии. студенты очень хорошие, и уже многое сами мне объясняют.

наше обсуждение "Пастыря" Ермы породило, между прочим, обсуждение тамошнего образа собирания Церкви как выстраивания башни. в связи с этим я им написал такую справку (я им пишу по-английски, если нахожу, то с цитатами по-испански).

In the Second Temple period, one of the normal terms for the Jewish Temple became "tower" (thus in 1 Enoch and some other Jewish works), clearly, influenced by the Babylonian ziggurats -- temples in the form of tower. This term persisted in some Christian works (thus, the tower imagery in the Pastor) and even traditions. The following monolith churches in Lalibela (, Ethiopia, that are created below the level of ground in the 12th and 13th cent. are called "towers" in the Ethiopian Life of Lalibela, the king who constructed all this after a revelation when he saw the heavenly temple (I suggest to see much more pictures from Lalibela available on the web):
However, the typology of the Church as the Tower is in a more direct connection to another Babylonian "ziggurat", namely, the Tower of Babel. This imagery is also pre-Christian. In the Jewish apocalypse 3 Baruch the feast of the Pentecost (day of the Covenant, and so, of the creation of the Church in the OT sense) is presented as a correction of the sin committed by the builders of the Tower of Babel. Thus, the true Church is an antipode of the Tower of Babel.
One of the greatest Byzantine poets, Roman the Melodos, in the early sixth century, wrote a poem (called "kondakion") on the Pentecost whose initial strophes are still in use in the Byzantine rite (in the Pentecost service). The opening strophe is the following:
When the Most High came down and confused the tongues,
He divided the nations,
but when He distributed the tongues of fire,
He called all men to unity.
Wherefore, we glorify the Holy Spirit with one accord.
It explains what is the connection between the Church and the Tower of Babel.
(Sorry for being unable to find out an appropriate musical performance of the kondakion; all that I have found on the web were 19th-century sentimental harmonizations).

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