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Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database



10638
Tertullian, Against The Valentinians, 1.1-1.4
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Intertexts (texts cited often on the same page as the searched text):

9 results
1. New Testament, 1 Corinthians, 2.6, 2.15 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

2.6. We speak wisdom, however, among those who are fullgrown; yet a wisdom not of this world, nor of the rulers of this world,who are coming to nothing. 2.15. But he who is spiritual discerns allthings, and he himself is judged by no one.
2. Clement of Alexandria, Excerpts From Theodotus, 78.2 (2nd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

3. Hippolytus, Refutation of All Heresies, 5.23.3, 6.41.2-6.41.3 (2nd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

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

5. Justin, First Apology, 62-67, 61 (2nd cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

61. I will also relate the manner in which we dedicated ourselves to God when we had been made new through Christ; lest, if we omit this, we seem to be unfair in the explanation we are making. As many as are persuaded and believe that what we teach and say is true, and undertake to be able to live accordingly, are instructed to pray and to entreat God with fasting, for the remission of their sins that are past, we praying and fasting with them. Then they are brought by us where there is water, and are regenerated in the same manner in which we were ourselves regenerated. For, in the name of God, the Father and Lord of the universe, and of our Saviour Jesus Christ, and of the Holy Spirit, they then receive the washing with water. For Christ also said, Unless you be born again, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. John 3:5 Now, that it is impossible for those who have once been born to enter into their mothers' wombs, is manifest to all. And how those who have sinned and repent shall escape their sins, is declared by Esaias the prophet, as I wrote above; he thus speaks: Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from your souls; learn to do well; judge the fatherless, and plead for the widow: and come and let us reason together, says the Lord. And though your sins be as scarlet, I will make them white like wool; and though they be as crimson, I will make them white as snow. But if you refuse and rebel, the sword shall devour you: for the mouth of the Lord has spoken it. Isaiah 1:16-20 And for this [rite] we have learned from the apostles this reason. Since at our birth we were born without our own knowledge or choice, by our parents coming together, and were brought up in bad habits and wicked training; in order that we may not remain the children of necessity and of ignorance, but may become the children of choice and knowledge, and may obtain in the water the remission of sins formerly committed, there is pronounced over him who chooses to be born again, and has repented of his sins, the name of God the Father and Lord of the universe; he who leads to the laver the person that is to be washed calling him by this name alone. For no one can utter the name of the ineffable God; and if any one dare to say that there is a name, he raves with a hopeless madness. And this washing is called illumination, because they who learn these things are illuminated in their understandings. And in the name of Jesus Christ, who was crucified under Pontius Pilate, and in the name of the Holy Ghost, who through the prophets foretold all things about Jesus, he who is illuminated is washed.
6. Pliny The Younger, Letters, 10.96, 10.96.7 (2nd cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

7. Pliny The Younger, Letters, 10.96, 10.96.7 (2nd cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

8. Tertullian, Against The Valentinians, 1.2-1.4 (2nd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

1. The Valentinians, who are no doubt a very large body of heretics- comprising as they do so many apostates from the truth, who have a propensity for fables, and no discipline to deter them (therefrom) care for nothing so much as to obscure what they preach, if indeed they (can be said to) preach who obscure their doctrine. The officiousness with which they guard their doctrine is an officiousness which betrays their guilt. Their disgrace is proclaimed in the very earnestness with which they maintain their religious system. Now, in the case of those Eleusinian mysteries, which are the very heresy of Athenian superstition, it is their secrecy that is their disgrace. Accordingly, they previously beset all access to their body with tormenting conditions; and they require a long initiation before they enrol (their members), even instruction during five years for their perfect disciples, in order that they may mould their opinions by this suspension of full knowledge, and apparently raise the dignity of their mysteries in proportion to the craving for them which they have previously created. Then follows the duty of silence. Carefully is that guarded, which is so long in finding. All the divinity, however, lies in their secret recesses: there are revealed at last all the aspirations of the fully initiated, the entire mystery of the sealed tongue, the symbol of virility. But this allegorical representation, under the pretext of nature's reverend name, obscures a real sacrilege by help of an arbitrary symbol, and by empty images obviates the reproach of falsehood! In like manner, the heretics who are now the object of our remarks, the Valentinians, have formed Eleusinian dissipations of their own, consecrated by a profound silence, having nothing of the heavenly in them but their mystery. By the help of the sacred names and titles and arguments of true religion, they have fabricated the vainest and foulest figment for men's pliant liking, out of the affluent suggestions of Holy Scripture, since from its many springs many errors may well emanate. If you propose to them inquiries sincere and honest, they answer you with stern look and contracted brow, and say, The subject is profound. If you try them with subtle questions, with the ambiguities of their double tongue, they affirm a community of faith (with yourself). If you intimate to them that you understand their opinions, they insist on knowing nothing themselves. If you come to a close engagement with them they destroy your own fond hope of a victory over them by a self-immolation. Not even to their own disciples do they commit a secret before they have made sure of them. They have the knack of persuading men before instructing them; although truth persuades by teaching, but does not teach by first persuading.
9. Origen, Against Celsus, 1.9, 1.12 (3rd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

1.9. He next proceeds to recommend, that in adopting opinions we should follow reason and a rational guide, since he who assents to opinions without following this course is very liable to be deceived. And he compares inconsiderate believers to Metragyrt, and soothsayers, and Mithr, and Sabbadians, and to anything else that one may fall in with, and to the phantoms of Hecate, or any other demon or demons. For as among such persons are frequently to be found wicked men, who, taking advantage of the ignorance of those who are easily deceived, lead them away whither they will, so also, he says, is the case among Christians. And he asserts that certain persons who do not wish either to give or receive a reason for their belief, keep repeating, Do not examine, but believe! and, Your faith will save you! And he alleges that such also say, The wisdom of this life is bad, but that foolishness is a good thing! To which we have to answer, that if it were possible for all to leave the business of life, and devote themselves to philosophy, no other method ought to be adopted by any one, but this alone. For in the Christian system also it will be found that there is, not to speak at all arrogantly, at least as much of investigation into articles of belief, and of explanation of dark sayings, occurring in the prophetical writings, and of the parables in the Gospels, and of countless other things, which either were narrated or enacted with a symbolic signification, (as is the case with other systems). But since the course alluded to is impossible, partly on account of the necessities of life, partly on account of the weakness of men, as only a very few individuals devote themselves earnestly to study, what better method could be devised with a view of assisting the multitude, than that which was delivered by Jesus to the heathen? And let us inquire, with respect to the great multitude of believers, who have washed away the mire of wickedness in which they formerly wallowed, whether it were better for them to believe without a reason, and (so) to have become reformed and improved in their habits, through the belief that men are chastised for sins, and honoured for good works or not to have allowed themselves to be converted on the strength of mere faith, but (to have waited) until they could give themselves to a thorough examination of the (necessary) reasons. For it is manifest that, (on such a plan), all men, with very few exceptions, would not obtain this (amelioration of conduct) which they have obtained through a simple faith, but would continue to remain in the practice of a wicked life. Now, whatever other evidence can be furnished of the fact, that it was not without divine intervention that the philanthropic scheme of Christianity was introduced among men, this also must be added. For a pious man will not believe that even a physician of the body, who restores the sick to better health, could take up his abode in any city or country without divine permission, since no good happens to men without the help of God. And if he who has cured the bodies of many, or restored them to better health, does not effect his cures without the help of God, how much more He who has healed the souls of many, and has turned them (to virtue), and improved their nature, and attached them to God who is over all things, and taught them to refer every action to His good pleasure, and to shun all that is displeasing to Him, even to the least of their words or deeds, or even of the thoughts of their hearts? 1.12. In the next place, when Celsus says in express words, If they would answer me, not as if I were asking for information, for I am acquainted with all their opinions, but because I take an equal interest in them all, it would be well. And if they will not, but will keep reiterating, as they generally do, 'Do not investigate,' etc., they must, he continues, explain to me at least of what nature these things are of which they speak, and whence they are derived, etc. Now, with regard to his statement that he is acquainted with all our doctrines, we have to say that this is a boastful and daring assertion; for if he had read the prophets in particular, which are full of acknowledged difficulties, and of declarations that are obscure to the multitude, and if he had perused the parables of the Gospels, and the other writings of the law and of the Jewish history, and the utterances of the apostles, and had read them candidly, with a desire to enter into their meaning, he would not have expressed himself with such boldness, nor said that he was acquainted with all their doctrines. Even we ourselves, who have devoted much study to these writings, would not say that we were acquainted with everything, for we have a regard for truth. Not one of us will assert, I know all the doctrines of Epicurus, or will be confident that he knows all those of Plato, in the knowledge of the fact that so many differences of opinion exist among the expositors of these systems. For who is so daring as to say that he knows all the opinions of the Stoics or of the Peripatetics? Unless, indeed, it should be the case that he has heard this boast, I know them all, from some ignorant and senseless individuals, who do not perceive their own ignorance, and should thus imagine, from having had such persons as his teachers, that he was acquainted with them all. Such an one appears to me to act very much as a person would do who had visited Egypt (where the Egyptian savans, learned in their country's literature, are greatly given to philosophizing about those things which are regarded among them as divine, but where the vulgar, hearing certain myths, the reasons of which they do not understand, are greatly elated because of their fancied knowledge), and who should imagine that he is acquainted with the whole circle of Egyptian knowledge, after having been a disciple of the ignorant alone, and without having associated with any of the priests, or having learned the mysteries of the Egyptians from any other source. And what I have said regarding the learned and ignorant among the Egyptians, I might have said also of the Persians; among whom there are mysteries, conducted on rational principles by the learned among them, but understood in a symbolic sense by the more superficial of the multitude. And the same remark applies to the Syrians, and Indians, and to all those who have a literature and a mythology.


Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
associations Alikin, The Earliest History of the Christian Gathering (2009) 35
becker, e. m. Ayres and Ward, The Rise of the Early Christian Intellectual (2021) 107
christianity and hermetism Bull, Lied and Turner, Mystery and Secrecy in the Nag Hammadi Collection and Other Ancient Literature: Ideas and Practices: Studies for Einar Thomassen at Sixty (2011) 222
clement of alexandria, on the catechumenate, inherited catechetical practices from within early church Ayres and Ward, The Rise of the Early Christian Intellectual (2021) 107
clement of alexandria, on the catechumenate, secrecy of Ayres and Ward, The Rise of the Early Christian Intellectual (2021) 107
clement of alexandria, on the catechumenate Ayres and Ward, The Rise of the Early Christian Intellectual (2021) 107
collegia Alikin, The Earliest History of the Christian Gathering (2009) 35
early christian education Bull, Lied and Turner, Mystery and Secrecy in the Nag Hammadi Collection and Other Ancient Literature: Ideas and Practices: Studies for Einar Thomassen at Sixty (2011) 222
esotericism, esoteric Bull, Lied and Turner, Mystery and Secrecy in the Nag Hammadi Collection and Other Ancient Literature: Ideas and Practices: Studies for Einar Thomassen at Sixty (2011) 222
gnostics Bull, Lied and Turner, Mystery and Secrecy in the Nag Hammadi Collection and Other Ancient Literature: Ideas and Practices: Studies for Einar Thomassen at Sixty (2011) 222
heresiologists Iricinschi et al., Beyond the Gnostic Gospels: Studies Building on the Work of Elaine Pagels (2013) 153
hermetism, hermetic Bull, Lied and Turner, Mystery and Secrecy in the Nag Hammadi Collection and Other Ancient Literature: Ideas and Practices: Studies for Einar Thomassen at Sixty (2011) 222
initiatory hierarchy Bull, Lied and Turner, Mystery and Secrecy in the Nag Hammadi Collection and Other Ancient Literature: Ideas and Practices: Studies for Einar Thomassen at Sixty (2011) 222
instruction Bull, Lied and Turner, Mystery and Secrecy in the Nag Hammadi Collection and Other Ancient Literature: Ideas and Practices: Studies for Einar Thomassen at Sixty (2011) 222
irenaeus Iricinschi et al., Beyond the Gnostic Gospels: Studies Building on the Work of Elaine Pagels (2013) 153
irénée de lyon/irenaeus of lyon Bull, Lied and Turner, Mystery and Secrecy in the Nag Hammadi Collection and Other Ancient Literature: Ideas and Practices: Studies for Einar Thomassen at Sixty (2011) 222
jews, hebrews (in the tripartite tractate) Dunderberg, Beyond Gnosticism: Myth, Lifestyle, and Society in the School of Valentinus (2008) 267
john, gospel of Iricinschi et al., Beyond the Gnostic Gospels: Studies Building on the Work of Elaine Pagels (2013) 153
justin martyr, on catechumenate Ayres and Ward, The Rise of the Early Christian Intellectual (2021) 107
knowledge, secret knowledge Bull, Lied and Turner, Mystery and Secrecy in the Nag Hammadi Collection and Other Ancient Literature: Ideas and Practices: Studies for Einar Thomassen at Sixty (2011) 222
lang, t. j. Ayres and Ward, The Rise of the Early Christian Intellectual (2021) 107
marcion and marcionites Ayres and Ward, The Rise of the Early Christian Intellectual (2021) 107
matthew, gospel of Iricinschi et al., Beyond the Gnostic Gospels: Studies Building on the Work of Elaine Pagels (2013) 153
meals, group Alikin, The Earliest History of the Christian Gathering (2009) 35
meals, pagan Alikin, The Earliest History of the Christian Gathering (2009) 35
meat' Alikin, The Earliest History of the Christian Gathering (2009) 35
pliny the younger Ayres and Ward, The Rise of the Early Christian Intellectual (2021) 107
revelation Bull, Lied and Turner, Mystery and Secrecy in the Nag Hammadi Collection and Other Ancient Literature: Ideas and Practices: Studies for Einar Thomassen at Sixty (2011) 222
secrecy Bull, Lied and Turner, Mystery and Secrecy in the Nag Hammadi Collection and Other Ancient Literature: Ideas and Practices: Studies for Einar Thomassen at Sixty (2011) 222
tatian and celsus, education of christians and Ayres and Ward, The Rise of the Early Christian Intellectual (2021) 107
tertullian, on catechumenate Ayres and Ward, The Rise of the Early Christian Intellectual (2021) 107
valentinianism, valentinian Bull, Lied and Turner, Mystery and Secrecy in the Nag Hammadi Collection and Other Ancient Literature: Ideas and Practices: Studies for Einar Thomassen at Sixty (2011) 222
valentinus and valentinians Ayres and Ward, The Rise of the Early Christian Intellectual (2021) 107
wisdom Bull, Lied and Turner, Mystery and Secrecy in the Nag Hammadi Collection and Other Ancient Literature: Ideas and Practices: Studies for Einar Thomassen at Sixty (2011) 222