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Shepherd of Hermas

REL 221
by

Max Shepherd

on 13 May 2013

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Transcript of Shepherd of Hermas

Shepherd Of Hermas The Visions The Mandates The Parables 1. the heavens opened and Rhoda appears, telling him that she has been called to accuse him for his wicked thought with which he sinned against her, for even an evil desire is a sin. He then meets an old woman who tells him that though it is a sin for the righteous to have evil thoughts, God is far more angry on account of the sins of his household.

She then reads to him from a book that contains harsh words for heathens and apostates, and glorifying God, reminding the him that he has much in store if his keep his commandments in faith. 2. One year later He agrees to transcribe her book for the elect, but as soon as he was finished, the book was snatched away from him. After fifteen days of prayer and fasting, the meaning of the writing was revealed to him.

His wife and sons have sinned greatly, but will repent and be saved when they’ve heard the words revealed to Hermas. Hermas will be saved by his simplicity and self-control, should he remain steadfast. A young man then reveals to him that the old woman is the Church (not the Sibyl as he had presumed). Hermas is instructed to write two books, one for Clemens and the other for Grapte, for it is a message for the ministers. 3. The old woman arranged to meet Hermas in the country in the fifth hour to reveal what he should know the old woman did not appear until he began confessing his sins to God. She instructed him to pray for righteousness within his household instead. Then, she showed him the vision that she had promised: The woman points out seven women: Faith
Self-restraint
Simplicity
Guilelessness
Chastity
Intelligence
Love Each is the daughter of the prior. -a host of young men led by her six attendents who were building a mighty tower from square stones Some were from the depths of the water and were perfect, whereas others were from the earth and had defects, some being altered or even cast away unused. She reveals that the tower is her, the Church. It is built on the water that saves mankind and is supported by the invisible power of the Lord The right is reserved for those who have already pleased God and are sanctified. The left is for those who share in the same gifts and promises but who must be cleansed before that may sit with the sanctified. She tells Hermas to sit on her left this vision is that repentence and salvation are still possible for those stones cast away The Message 4. 20 days pass Hermas places his trust in the Lord and is not harmed. Beyond the beast, he meets the woman, she is young and dressed in white. She tells him that the beast he saw was a type of the tribulation to come. four ages of the world: Black: The current darkness Red: Perishing of the world by blood and fire Gold: What remains after the test White: The purity of eternal life 5. An angelic figure dressed like a shepherd sent to be with him for the remainder of his life and deliver to him the commandments of the Lord. Have faith in and fear God. Exercise self-control and put on righteousness.
Do not partake in slander. Give to the needy in simplicity.
Walk in truth always. Hermas confesses to concealing the truth in the past and is told that since his has now heard the commandment, he must be truthful going forward.
Thoughts of adultery and fornication are great sins. It is acceptible to put away an adulterous wife, but to then marry another is adultery. Repentance is wisdom.
Patience provides a pure place for the Holy Spirit to dwell, aiding in the works of righteousness.
Walk the straight path of righteousness. Two angels dwell with every man: one of righteousness and one of iniquity. Fear the Lord and not the devil.
The restraint of evil is righteous, but the restraint of good is a great sin. Examples of good works are listed.
Pray over all things and with confidence.
Grief from doubt crushes out the Holy Spirit, but grief that comes from the actions thats rises from anger leads to repentance and salvation. It is best to drive away grief altogether by eliminating both doubt and anger.
False prophets ruin the minds of the doubters. True prophets are meek and humble, speaking only when and what God wishes them to speak. False prophets are proud and talkative, speaking only when they have something to gain.
Cherish good and chaste desires over wicked and evil ones. Avoid covetousness and practice righteousness, virtue, truth, faith, meekness, etc. There is no purpose in gathering possessions beyond necessity in this city (the world), for you will be cast out for not obeying its laws (death). It is better to purchase property (afflicted souls) like that found in your native city (Heaven). Do not covet, but do the work of God and be saved. The elm tree (the rich), which does not produce fruit, supports the vine (the poor), which allows it to not just produce fruit (intercessions), but to do so abundantly. In this way, both the rich and the poor do God’s work as partners, giving back to God through love what was given to them. In winter, green trees (living) and withered trees (dead) look alike. This life is winter to the righteous. In summer, the dead trees do not produce fruit or leaves and are burned. The next life is summer to the righteous. A slave (the Son of God) was put in charge of a field (the world) with a vineyard (the people) and was told by his master (the creator, God the Father) to stake it (place Holy Angels in it to keep the people together) while he was away (until the end of the age). He also weeded (removed sins from) the vineyard to please the master with its beauty. His obedience gained the slave his freedom, but the good he performed prompted the master to make him a co-heir with his own son (the Holy Spirit) as well. The master sent to the slave many dishes (the commandments of Christ) from his table, and the slave shared the leftovers with his fellow slaves, which also pleased the master. The simplicity of the book made it very popular and had a strong emphasis on living the Christian life in a positive light and righteous way
The lost book Shepherd of Hermas was written in the first or early second century
It was considered to be canonical by many Christians
The writings were also mentioned by several Church Fathers Athanasius Authorship:
Hermas

Organization:
The Shepherd contains three major sections: five visions, twelve mandates (or commandments), and ten parables (or similitudes). Max Shepherd
Rel 221
5/8/13
Full transcript