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Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database

Irenaeus, Refutation Of All Heresies, 2.13.3

nanThese things may properly be said to hold good in men, since they are compound by nature, and consist of a body and a soul. But those who affirm that Ennoea was sent forth from God, and Nous from Ennoea, and then, in succession, Logos from these, are, in the first place, to be blamed as having improperly used these productions; and, in the next place, as describing the affections, and passions, and mental tendencies of men, while they [thus prove themselves] ignorant of God. By their manner of speaking, they ascribe those things which apply to men to the Father of all, whom they also declare to be unknown to all; and they deny that He himself made the world, to guard against attributing want of power to Him; while, at the same time, they endow Him with human affections and passions. But if they had known the Scriptures, and been taught by the truth, they would have known, beyond doubt, that God is not as men are; and that His thoughts are not like the thoughts of men. For the Father of all is at a vast distance from those affections and passions which operate among men. He is a simple, uncompounded Being, without diverse members, and altogether like, and equal to himself, since He is wholly understanding, and wholly spirit, and wholly thought, and wholly intelligence, and wholly reason, and wholly hearing, and wholly seeing, and wholly light, and the whole source of all that is good--even as the religious and pious are wont to speak concerning God.

Intertexts (texts cited often on the same page as the searched text):

12 results
1. Hebrew Bible, Isaiah, 55.8 (8th cent. BCE - 5th cent. BCE)

55.8. כִּי לֹא מַחְשְׁבוֹתַי מַחְשְׁבוֹתֵיכֶם וְלֹא דַרְכֵיכֶם דְּרָכָי נְאֻם יְהוָה׃ 55.8. For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Neither are your ways My ways, saith the LORD."
2. New Testament, 1 Timothy, 6.16 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

6.16. who alone has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light; whom no man has seen, nor can see: to whom be honor and eternal power. Amen.
3. Athenagoras, Apology Or Embassy For The Christians, 4.2, 5.2, 6.2-6.3, 7.1, 8.1, 10.2, 10.4, 12.2, 18.2, 24.1-24.2 (2nd cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

4. Clement of Alexandria, Miscellanies, (2nd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

5. Hippolytus, Refutation of All Heresies, 7.21.1 (2nd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

6. Irenaeus, Refutation of All Heresies, None (2nd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

7. Justin, Dialogue With Trypho, 5.6 (2nd cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

8. Sextus, Against The Mathematicians, 9.144 (2nd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

9. Tatian, Oration To The Greeks, 5.1, 14.1 (2nd cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

10. Athanasius, Defense of The Nicene Definition, 22 (3rd cent. CE - 4th cent. CE)

11. Origen, Against Celsus, 4.14, 6.44 (3rd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

4.14. But let us look at what Celsus next with great ostentation announces in the following fashion: And again, he says, let us resume the subject from the beginning, with a larger array of proofs. And I make no new statement, but say what has been long settled. God is good, and beautiful, and blessed, and that in the best and most beautiful degree. But if he come down among men, he must undergo a change, and a change from good to evil, from virtue to vice, from happiness to misery, and from best to worst. Who, then, would make choice of such a change? It is the nature of a mortal, indeed, to undergo change and remoulding, but of an immortal to remain the same and unaltered. God, then, could not admit of such a change. Now it appears to me that the fitting answer has been returned to these objections, when I have related what is called in Scripture the condescension of God to human affairs; for which purpose He did not need to undergo a transformation, as Celsus thinks we assert, nor a change from good to evil, nor from virtue to vice, nor from happiness to misery, nor from best to worst. For, continuing unchangeable in His essence, He condescends to human affairs by the economy of His providence. We show, accordingly, that the holy Scriptures represent God as unchangeable, both by such words as You are the same, and I change not; whereas the gods of Epicurus, being composed of atoms, and, so far as their structure is concerned, capable of dissolution, endeavour to throw off the atoms which contain the elements of destruction. Nay, even the god of the Stoics, as being corporeal, at one time has his whole essence composed of the guiding principle when the conflagration (of the world) takes place; and at another, when a rearrangement of things occurs, he again becomes partly material. For even the Stoics were unable distinctly to comprehend the natural idea of God, as of a being altogether incorruptible and simple, and uncompounded and indivisible. 6.44. For it is impossible that the good which is the result of accident, or of communication, should be like that good which comes by nature; and yet the former will never be lost by him who, so to speak, partakes of the living bread with a view to his own preservation. But if it should fail any one, it must be through his own fault, in being slothful to partake of this living bread and genuine drink, by means of which the wings, nourished and watered, are fitted for their purpose, even according to the saying of Solomon, the wisest of men, concerning the truly rich man, that he made to himself wings like an eagle, and returns to the house of his patron. For it became God, who knows how to turn to proper account even those who in their wickedness have apostatized from Him, to place wickedness of this sort in some part of the universe, and to appoint a training-school of virtue, wherein those must exercise themselves who would desire to recover in a lawful manner the possession (which they had lost); in order that being tested, like gold in the fire, by the wickedness of these, and having exerted themselves to the utmost to prevent anything base injuring their rational nature, they may appear deserving of an ascent to divine things, and may be elevated by the Word to the blessedness which is above all things, and so to speak, to the very summit of goodness. Now he who in the Hebrew language is named Satan, and by some Satanas - as being more in conformity with the genius of the Greek language - signifies, when translated into Greek, adversary. But every one who prefers vice and a vicious life, is (because acting in a manner contrary to virtue) Satanas, that is, an adversary to the Son of God, who is righteousness, and truth, and wisdom. With more propriety, however, is he called adversary, who was the first among those that were living a peaceful and happy life to lose his wings, and to fall from blessedness; he who, according to Ezekiel, walked faultlessly in all his ways, until iniquity was found in him, and who being the seal of resemblance and the crown of beauty in the paradise of God, being filled as it were with good things, fell into destruction, in accordance with the word which said to him in a mystic sense: You have fallen into destruction, and shall not abide forever. We have ventured somewhat rashly to make these few remarks, although in so doing we have added nothing of importance to this treatise. If any one, however, who has leisure for the examination of the sacred writings, should collect together from all sources and form into one body of doctrine what is recorded concerning the origin of evil, and the manner of its dissolution, he would see that the views of Moses and the prophets regarding Satan had not been even dreamed of either by Celsus or any one of those whose soul had been dragged down, and torn away from God, and from right views of Him, and from His word, by this wicked demon.
12. Origen, On First Principles, 1.1.6, 1.2.4, 1.2.10, 1.2.13, 1.5.3, 1.6.2, 4.4.8, 4.4.10 (3rd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

1.1.6. But it will not appear absurd if we employ another similitude to make the matter clearer. Our eyes frequently cannot look upon the nature of the light itself — that is, upon the substance of the sun; but when we behold his splendour or his rays pouring in, perhaps, through windows or some small openings to admit the light, we can reflect how great is the supply and source of the light of the body. So, in like manner. the works of Divine Providence and the plan of this whole world are a sort of rays, as it were, of the nature of God, in comparison with His real substance and being. As, therefore, our understanding is unable of itself to behold God Himself as He is, it knows the Father of the world from the beauty of His works and the comeliness of His creatures. God, therefore, is not to be thought of as being either a body or as existing in a body, but as an uncompounded intellectual nature, admitting within Himself no addition of any kind; so that He cannot be believed to have within him a greater and a less, but is such that He is in all parts Μονάς, and, so to speak, ῾Ενάς, and is the mind and source from which all intellectual nature or mind takes its beginning. But mind, for its movements or operations, needs no physical space, nor sensible magnitude, nor bodily shape, nor color, nor any other of those adjuncts which are the properties of body or matter. Wherefore that simple and wholly intellectual nature can admit of no delay or hesitation in its movements or operations, lest the simplicity of the divine nature should appear to be circumscribed or in some degree hampered by such adjuncts, and lest that which is the beginning of all things should be found composite and differing, and that which ought to be free from all bodily intermixture, in virtue of being the one sole species of Deity, so to speak, should prove, instead of being one, to consist of many things. That mind, moreover, does not require space in order to carry on its movements agreeably to its nature, is certain from observation of our own mind. For if the mind abide within its own limits, and sustain no injury from any cause, it will never, from diversity of situation, be retarded in the discharge of its functions; nor, on the other hand, does it gain any addition or increase of mobility from the nature of particular places. And here, if any one were to object, for example, that among those who are at sea, and tossed by its waves the mind is considerably less vigorous than it is wont to be on land, we are to believe that it is in this state, not from diversity of situation, but from the commotion or disturbance of the body to which the mind is joined or attached. For it seems to be contrary to nature, as it were, for a human body to live at sea; and for that reason it appears, by a sort of inequality of its own, to enter upon its mental operations in a slovenly and irregular manner, and to perform the acts of the intellect with a duller sense, in as great degree as those who on land are prostrated with fever; with respect to whom it is certain, that if the mind do not discharge its functions as well as before, in consequence of the attack of disease, the blame is to be laid not upon the place, but upon the bodily malady, by which the body, being disturbed and disordered, renders to the mind its customary services under by no means the well-known and natural conditions: for we human beings are animals composed of a union of body and soul, and in this way (only) was it possible for us to live upon the earth. But God, who is the beginning of all things, is not to be regarded as a composite being, lest perchance there should be found to exist elements prior to the beginning itself, out of which everything is composed, whatever that be which is called composite. Neither does the mind require bodily magnitude in order to perform any act or movement; as when the eye by gazing upon bodies of larger size is dilated, but is compressed and contracted in order to see smaller objects. The mind, indeed, requires magnitude of an intellectual kind, because it grows, not after the fashion of a body, but after that of intelligence. For the mind is not enlarged, together with the body, by means of corporal additions, up to the twentieth or thirtieth year of life; but the intellect is sharpened by exercises of learning, and the powers implanted within it for intelligent purposes are called forth; and it is rendered capable of greater intellectual efforts, not being increased by bodily additions, but carefully polished by learned exercises. But these it cannot receive immediately from boyhood, or from birth, because the framework of limbs which the mind employs as organs for exercising itself is weak and feeble; and it is unable to bear the weight of its own operations, or to exhibit a capacity for receiving training. 1.2.4. This Son, accordingly, is also the truth and life of all things which exist. And with reason. For how could those things which were created live, unless they derived their being from life? Or how could those things which are, truly exist, unless they came down from the truth? Or how could rational beings exist, unless the Word or reason had previously existed? Or how could they be wise, unless there were wisdom? But since it was to come to pass that some also should fall away from life, and bring death upon themselves by their declension — for death is nothing else than a departure from life — and as it was not to follow that those beings which had once been created by God for the enjoyment of life should utterly perish, it was necessary that, before death, there should be in existence such a power as would destroy the coming death, and that there should be a resurrection, the type of which was in our Lord and Saviour, and that this resurrection should have its ground in the wisdom and word and life of God. And then, in the next place, since some of those who were created were not to be always willing to remain unchangeable and unalterable in the calm and moderate enjoyment of the blessings which they possessed, but, in consequence of the good which was in them being theirs not by nature or essence, but by accident, were to be perverted and changed, and to fall away from their position, therefore was the Word and Wisdom of God made the Way. And it was so termed because it leads to the Father those who walk along it. 1.5.3. After the enumeration, then, of so many and so important names of orders and offices, underlying which it is certain that there are personal existences, let us inquire whether God, the creator and founder of all things, created certain of them holy and happy, so that they could admit no element at all of an opposite kind, and certain others so that they were made capable both of virtue and vice; or whether we are to suppose that He created some so as to be altogether incapable of virtue, and others again altogether incapable of wickedness, but with the power of abiding only in a state of happiness, and others again such as to be capable of either condition. In order, now, that our first inquiry may begin with the names themselves, let us consider whether the holy angels, from the period of their first existence, have always been holy, and are holy still, and will be holy, and have never either admitted or had the power to admit any occasion of sin. Then in the next place, let us consider whether those who are called holy principalities began from the moment of their creation by God to exercise power over some who were made subject to them, and whether these latter were created of such a nature, and formed for the very purpose of being subject and subordinate. In like manner, also, whether those which are called powers were created of such a nature and for the express purpose of exercising power, or whether their arriving at that power and dignity is a reward and desert of their virtue. Moreover, also, whether those which are called thrones or seats gained that stability of happiness at the same time with their coming forth into being, so as to have that possession from the will of the Creator alone; or whether those which are called dominions had their dominion conferred on them, not as a reward for their proficiency, but as the peculiar privilege of their creation, so that it is something which is in a certain degree inseparable from them, and natural. Now, if we adopt the view that the holy angels, and the holy powers, and the blessed seats, and the glorious virtues, and the magnificent dominions, are to be regarded as possessing those powers and dignities and glories in virtue of their nature, it will doubtless appear to follow that those beings which have been mentioned as holding offices of an opposite kind must be regarded in the same manner; so that those principalities with whom we have to struggle are to be viewed, not as having received that spirit of opposition and resistance to all good at a later period, or as falling away from good through the freedom of the will, but as having had it in themselves as the essence of their being from the beginning of their existence. In like manner also will it be the case with the powers and virtues, in none of which was wickedness subsequent or posterior to their first existence. Those also whom the apostle termed rulers and princes of the darkness of this world, are said, with respect to their rule and occupation of darkness, to fall not from perversity of intention, but from the necessity of their creation. Logical reasoning will compel us to take the same view with regard to wicked and maligt spirits and unclean demons. But if to entertain this view regarding maligt and opposing powers seem to be absurd, as it is certainly absurd that the cause of their wickedness should be removed from the purpose of their own will, and ascribed of necessity to their Creator, why should we not also be obliged to make a similar confession regarding the good and holy powers, that, viz., the good which is in them is not theirs by essential being, which we have manifestly shown to be the case with Christ and the Holy Spirit alone, as undoubtedly with the Father also? For it was proved that there was nothing compound in the nature of the Trinity, so that these qualities might seem to belong to it as accidental consequences. From which it follows, that in the case of every creature it is a result of his own works and movements, that those powers which appear either to hold sway over others or to exercise power or dominion, have been preferred to and placed over those whom they are said to govern or exercise power over, and not in consequence of a peculiar privilege inherent in their constitutions, but on account of merit. 1.6.2. Seeing, then, that such is the end, when all enemies will be subdued to Christ, when death — the last enemy — shall be destroyed, and when the kingdom shall be delivered up by Christ (to whom all things are subject) to God the Father; let us, I say, from such an end as this, contemplate the beginnings of things. For the end is always like the beginning: and, therefore, as there is one end to all things, so ought we to understand that there was one beginning; and as there is one end to many things, so there spring from one beginning many differences and varieties, which again, through the goodness of God, and by subjection to Christ, and through the unity of the Holy Spirit, are recalled to one end, which is like the beginning: all those, viz., who, bending the knee at the name of Jesus, make known by so doing their subjection to Him: and these are they who are in heaven, on earth, and under the earth: by which three classes the whole universe of things is pointed out, those, viz., who from that one beginning were arranged, each according to the diversity of his conduct, among the different orders, in accordance with their desert; for there was no goodness in them by essential being, as in God and His Christ, and in the Holy Spirit. For in the Trinity alone, which is the author of all things, does goodness exist in virtue of essential being; while others possess it as an accidental and perishable quality, and only then enjoy blessedness, when they participate in holiness and wisdom, and in divinity itself. But if they neglect and despise such participation, then is each one, by fault of his own slothfulness, made, one more rapidly, another more slowly, one in a greater, another in a less degree, the cause of his own downfall. And since, as we have remarked, the lapse by which an individual falls away from his position is characterized by great diversity, according to the movements of the mind and will, one man falling with greater ease, another with more difficulty, into a lower condition; in this is to be seen the just judgment of the providence of God, that it should happen to every one according to the diversity of his conduct, in proportion to the desert of his declension and defection. Certain of those, indeed, who remained in that beginning which we have described as resembling the end which is to come, obtained, in the ordering and arrangement of the world, the rank of angels; others that of influences, others of principalities, others of powers, that they may exercise power over those who need to have power upon their head. Others, again, received the rank of thrones, having the office of judging or ruling those who require this; others dominion, doubtless, over slaves; all of which are conferred by Divine Providence in just and impartial judgment according to their merits, and to the progress which they had made in the participation and imitation of God. But those who have been removed from their primal state of blessedness have not been removed irrecoverably, but have been placed under the rule of those holy and blessed orders which we have described; and by availing themselves of the aid of these, and being remoulded by salutary principles and discipline, they may recover themselves, and be restored to their condition of happiness. From all which I am of opinion, so far as I can see, that this order of the human race has been appointed in order that in the future world, or in ages to come, when there shall be the new heavens and new earth, spoken of by Isaiah, it may be restored to that unity promised by the Lord Jesus in His prayer to God the Father on behalf of His disciples: I do not pray for these alone, but for all who shall believe in Me through their word: that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You, that they also may be one in Us; and again, when He says: That they may be one, even as We are one; I in them, and You in Me, that they may be made perfect in one. And this is further confirmed by the language of the Apostle Paul: Until we all come in the unity of the faith to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ. And in keeping with this is the declaration of the same apostle, when he exhorts us, who even in the present life are placed in the Church, in which is the form of that kingdom which is to come, to this same similitude of unity: That you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.

Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
accident (sumbebhkòw), accidental, separable and inseparable accident (and quality) Pedersen, Demonstrative Proof in Defence of God: A Study of Titus of Bostra’s Contra Manichaeos (2004) 268
accident (sumbebhkòw), accidental Pedersen, Demonstrative Proof in Defence of God: A Study of Titus of Bostra’s Contra Manichaeos (2004) 268
anthropomorphic, anthropomorphisms Pedersen, Demonstrative Proof in Defence of God: A Study of Titus of Bostra’s Contra Manichaeos (2004) 268
anthropomorphism Osborne, Irenaeus of Lyons (2001) 40
athenagoras Stanton, Unity and Disunity in Greek and Christian Thought under the Roman Peace (2021) 207
creation, created or originated things Pedersen, Demonstrative Proof in Defence of God: A Study of Titus of Bostra’s Contra Manichaeos (2004) 268
divine intellect Osborne, Irenaeus of Lyons (2001) 30, 37, 40
gnostic christians Stanton, Unity and Disunity in Greek and Christian Thought under the Roman Peace (2021) 207
god, attributes of Osborne, Irenaeus of Lyons (2001) 30
god, uniqueness of Stanton, Unity and Disunity in Greek and Christian Thought under the Roman Peace (2021) 207
god, unity of Stanton, Unity and Disunity in Greek and Christian Thought under the Roman Peace (2021) 207
god as ineffable Osborne, Irenaeus of Lyons (2001) 40
god as intellect Osborne, Irenaeus of Lyons (2001) 40
god as opulent Osborne, Irenaeus of Lyons (2001) 30
hippolytus Iricinschi et al., Beyond the Gnostic Gospels: Studies Building on the Work of Elaine Pagels (2013) 152
immortality of god Pedersen, Demonstrative Proof in Defence of God: A Study of Titus of Bostra’s Contra Manichaeos (2004) 268
immortality of soul Pedersen, Demonstrative Proof in Defence of God: A Study of Titus of Bostra’s Contra Manichaeos (2004) 268
intellect Osborne, Irenaeus of Lyons (2001) 30, 37, 40
irenaeus Iricinschi et al., Beyond the Gnostic Gospels: Studies Building on the Work of Elaine Pagels (2013) 152, 161; Stanton, Unity and Disunity in Greek and Christian Thought under the Roman Peace (2021) 207
marcion Osborne, Irenaeus of Lyons (2001) 30
metaphysic of mind Osborne, Irenaeus of Lyons (2001) 37
mind (noëw and similar terms) Pedersen, Demonstrative Proof in Defence of God: A Study of Titus of Bostra’s Contra Manichaeos (2004) 268
mix, mixture, composed, composition, compound, (un-)compounded, fusion, merger, mingle, (inter)mingling Pedersen, Demonstrative Proof in Defence of God: A Study of Titus of Bostra’s Contra Manichaeos (2004) 268
omnipotence Osborne, Irenaeus of Lyons (2001) 30
philosophy Osborne, Irenaeus of Lyons (2001) 30, 37
platonic, platonising, platonism, platonists Pedersen, Demonstrative Proof in Defence of God: A Study of Titus of Bostra’s Contra Manichaeos (2004) 268
pleroma Osborne, Irenaeus of Lyons (2001) 40
quality Pedersen, Demonstrative Proof in Defence of God: A Study of Titus of Bostra’s Contra Manichaeos (2004) 268
simple (èploëw) (about god) Pedersen, Demonstrative Proof in Defence of God: A Study of Titus of Bostra’s Contra Manichaeos (2004) 268
stoicism Osborne, Irenaeus of Lyons (2001) 37
substances (oès¤a) Pedersen, Demonstrative Proof in Defence of God: A Study of Titus of Bostra’s Contra Manichaeos (2004) 268
tatianos (tatian) Stanton, Unity and Disunity in Greek and Christian Thought under the Roman Peace (2021) 207
transcendence of god Osborne, Irenaeus of Lyons (2001) 30
universal intellect' Osborne, Irenaeus of Lyons (2001) 37
valentinians Osborne, Irenaeus of Lyons (2001) 40; Stanton, Unity and Disunity in Greek and Christian Thought under the Roman Peace (2021) 207
virtues and vices Pedersen, Demonstrative Proof in Defence of God: A Study of Titus of Bostra’s Contra Manichaeos (2004) 268
xenophanes Osborne, Irenaeus of Lyons (2001) 40