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them Jesus assumed Simon of Cyrene's appearance, looked on, and ridiculed the lords of the cosmos, the demiurge's angels. A Gnostic, then, would see two figures on the cross: 'one, glad and laughing on the tree - another, whose hands and feet they are striking'. The first figure is 'the living Jesus', the second 'his fleshly part, which is the substitute being put to shame'. A third figure, who approaches the scene and reveals the meaning of what is happening, is 'the saviour woven in a Holy Spirit' (NHC vii: 3).4

By maintaining the identity of the one suffering with the only true God and thus confessing the one suffering as God and saviour, Noetus firmly opposed this tearing apart of that saviour into two figures or 'natures', into unchangeable substance and changeable appearance (NHC vii: 4).

Two conceptions of Christ as the one subject

The impact of Noetus' confession of the one God and redeemer as the one subject of the antitheses can be observed in the 'new Logos-theology' advanced by Hippolytus of Rome and Tertullian of Carthage. Detached from the name of Noetus and from its original anti-Gnostic context, this confession became common property and thus the basis of the Christology in the fides Nicaena. Because of its paradoxical character, it excludes naive theopaschite language from Christology.

However, the confession of the antitheses' one subject allowed two conceptions of Christ, the one incarnate Logos, to emerge:

1. One conception could stress that at the same time he is God and human being, invisible and visible, so that statements of divine majesty apply to him as God, and simultaneously the biblical statements of lowliness refer to him as a human being. The symmetrical picture of Christ formulated by Hippolytus and Tertullian exemplifies this point of view. As Tertullian expressed it so tersely, paving the way for the Christologies of Augustine and Pope Leo the Great, Christ revealed himself as 'God and human being in one person, preserving the identity of both substances, so that the spirit (i.e., God) in him carried out the works proper to him - and the flesh endured the sufferings proper to it'.

2. The second conception arises when the divinity of Christ is emphasised and simultaneously the biblical statements of lowliness are accentuated as antitheses. Apollinarius did this when, following the lead of Athanasius, he said: 'The one incarnate Logos is visible in his body, although as God

4 Cf.H. W Havelaar, The Coptic Apocalypse of Peter, 177-80; D. Voorgang, Die Passion Jesu offers a comprehensive collection of materials.

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