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Bibil Identifier bibil:202251
Publication Type Journal article
Title (French, Long) La paternité spirituelle : éléments bibliques
Author Bianchi, Enzo
Journal Irénikon (Volume: 81, Issue: 2-3)
Year (Publication) 2008
Year (Original (1st Edition)) 2008
Year (Copyright) 2008
Year (Reference) 2008
Year (Second publication) 2008
Language French
Pages 245-259 Pages
Genre Original
Abstract The thème of "spiritual paternity" holds an important place in the Christian monastic tradition of both East and West. It has no direct antécédent in the Bible, but monastic authors used a number of biblical characters as models of spiritual fatherhood. Among the Old Testament examples, Joseph is seen as a "father to Pharaoh", since his wisdom and intelligence make him a true guide for the king. Moses was as a father to Joshua, Son of Nun, for he made him his successor as leader of Israël and endowed him with wisdom. A parallel is found in the relationship of master to disciple in the case of Eli and Samuel. Finally, Elijah after meeting God on Mount Horeb colis Elisha to follow him, and passes on to him his mantel, a symbol of his prophétie charisma. The Book of Proverbs shows some awareness of a spiritual fatherly relationship, with its repeated call to "Hear, my son, the teaching of thy father".
In the New Testament, Jésus' call to his disciples to corne and follow him is reminiscent of Elijah's call to Elisha. Jésus calls his disciples "children" or "little children" in the Gospels of both Mark and John, and goes so far as to daim to "beget" them in the Spirit as "Sons of the Father who is in heaven". Still Jésus enjoins his disciples to "call no man Father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven". This saying owes its polemic value to a controversy between nascent Christianity and the early rabbis, but it does underline the fact that every kind of fatherhood, even the spiritual kind, has its source in God alone. The Apostle Paul refers to spiritual paternity, in the first place because of his awareness of being begotten into Christianity by Ananias. He too initiated others into life in Christ, and writes of them as his "spiritual children". He calls Timothy his "beloved son, andfaithful in the Lord". For Paul this spiritual parenthood is linked to the transmission of the Gospel; he speaks of this at times in terms of fatherhood, and at others in terms of mother-hood. When the spiritual child becomes "mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ", the spiritual father must see that his task has been accomplished, and draw back, allowing Christ himself henceforth to guide the spiritual offspring.
Keywords Thesaurus BiBIL : Old Testament (Introduction) : Theology : Themes : Father (Pages: 246-252)
Thesaurus BiBIL : New Testament (Introduction) : Theology : Themes : Father (Pages: 252-258)
Last modification 2017-10-27