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Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database

Tertullian, Antidote For The Scorpion'S Sting, 8

nanWe keep therefore the one position, and, in respect of this question only, summon to an encounter, whether martyrdoms have been commanded by God, that you may believe that they have been commanded by reason, if you know that they have been commanded by Him, because God will not command ought without reason. Since the death of His own saints is precious is His sight, as David sings, it is not, I think, that one which falls to the lot of men generally, and is a debt due by all (rather is that one even disgraceful on account of the trespass, and the desert of condemnation to which it is to be traced), but that other which is met in this very work - in bearing witness for religion, and maintaining the fight of confession in behalf of righteousness and the sacrament. As says Esaias, See how the righteous man perishes, and no one lays it to heart; and righteous men are taken away, and no one considers it: for from before the face of unrighteousness the righteous man perishes, and he shall have honour at his burial. Here, too, you have both an announcement of martyrdoms, and of the recompense they bring. From the beginning, indeed, righteousness suffers violence. Forthwith, as soon as God has begun to be worshipped, religion has got ill-will for her portion. He who had pleased God is slain, and that by his brother. Beginning with kindred blood, in order that it might the more easily go in quest of that of strangers, ungodliness made the object of its pursuit, finally, that not only of righteous persons, but even of prophets also. David is persecuted; Elias put to flight; Jeremias stoned; Esaias cut asunder; Zacharias butchered between the altar and the temple, imparting to the hard stones lasting marks of his blood. Matthew 14:3 That person himself, at the close of the law and the prophets, and called not a prophet, but a messenger, is, suffering an ignominious death, beheaded to reward a dancing-girl. And certainly they who were wont to be led by the Spirit of God used to be guided by Himself to martyrdoms; so that they had even already to endure what they had also proclaimed as requiring to be borne. Wherefore the brotherhood of the three also, when the dedication of the royal image was the occasion of the citizens being pressed to offer worship, knew well what faith, which alone in them had not been taken captive, required - namely, that they must resist idolatry to the death. Daniel 3:12 For they remembered also the words of Jeremias writing to those over whom that captivity was impending: And now you shall see borne upon (men's) shoulders the gods of the Babylonians, of gold and silver and wood, causing fear to the Gentiles. Beware, therefore, that you also do not be altogether like the foreigners, and be seized with fear while you behold crowds worshipping those gods before and behind, but say in your mind, Our duty is to worship You, O Lord. Baruch 6:3 Therefore, having got confidence from God, they said, when with strength of mind they set at defiance the king's threats against the disobedient: There is no necessity for our making answer to this command of yours. For our God whom we worship is able to deliver us from the furnace of fire and from your hands; and then it will be made plain to you that we shall neither serve your idol, nor worship your golden image which you have set up. Daniel 3:16 O martyrdom even without suffering perfect! Enough did they suffer! enough were they burned, whom on this account God shielded, that it might not seem that they had given a false representation of His power. For immediately, certainly, would the lions, with their pent-up and wonted savageness, have devoured Daniel also, a worshipper of none but God, and therefore accused and demanded by the Chaldeans, if it had been right that the worthy anticipation of Darius concerning God should have proved delusive. For the rest, every preacher of God, and every worshipper also, such as, having been summoned to the service of idolatry, had refused compliance, ought to have suffered, agreeably to the tenor of that argument too, by which the truth ought to have been recommended both to those who were then living and to those following in succession, - (namely), that the suffering of its defenders themselves bespeak trust for it, because nobody would have been willing to be slain but one possessing the truth. Such commands as well as instances, remounting to earliest times, show that believers are under obligation to suffer martyrdom.

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

5 results
1. Hebrew Bible, Daniel, 3, 8, 2 (2nd cent. BCE - 2nd cent. BCE)

2. Irenaeus, Refutation of All Heresies, 5.5.2 (2nd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

3. Tertullian, On Idolatry, 15 (2nd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

15. But let your works shine, says He; Matthew 5:16 but now all our shops and gates shine! You will now-a-days find more doors of heathens without lamps and laurel-wreaths than of Christians. What does the case seem to be with regard to that species (of ceremony) also? If it is an idol's honour, without doubt an idol's honour is idolatry. If it is for a man's sake, let us again consider that all idolatry is for man's sake; let us again consider that all idolatry is a worship done to men, since it is generally agreed even among their worshippers that aforetime the gods themselves of the nations were men; and so it makes no difference whether that superstitious homage be rendered to men of a former age or of this. Idolatry is condemned, not on account of the persons which are set up for worship, but on account of those its observances, which pertain to demons. The things which are C sar's are to be rendered to C sar. It is enough that He set in apposition thereto, and to God the things which are God's. What things, then, are C sar's? Those, to wit, about which the consultation was then held, whether the poll-tax should be furnished to C sar or no. Therefore, too, the Lord demanded that the money should be shown Him, and inquired about the image, whose it was; and when He had heard it was C sar's, said, Render to C sar what are C sar's, and what are God's to God; that is, the image of C sar, which is on the coin, to C sar, and the image of God, which is on man, to God; so as to render to C sar indeed money, to God yourself. Otherwise, what will be God's, if all things are C sar's? Then, do you say, the lamps before my doors, and the laurels on my posts are an honour to God? They are there of course, not because they are an honour to God, but to him who is honour in God's stead by ceremonial observances of that kind, so far as is manifest, saving the religious performance, which is in secret appertaining to demons. For we ought to be sure if there are any whose notice it escapes through ignorance of this world's literature, that there are among the Romans even gods of entrances; Cardea (Hinge-goddess), called after hinges, and Forculus (Door-god) after doors, and Limentinus (Threshold-god) after the threshold, and Janus himself (Gate-god) after the gate: and of course we know that, though names be empty and feigned, yet, when they are drawn down into superstition, demons and every unclean spirit seize them for themselves, through the bond of consecration. Otherwise demons have no name individually, but they there find a name where they find also a token. Among the Greeks likewise we read of Apollo Thyr us, i.e. of the door, and the Antelii, or Anthelii, demons, as presiders over entrances. These things, therefore, the Holy Spirit foreseeing from the beginning, fore-chanted, through the most ancient prophet Enoch, that even entrances would come into superstitious use. For we see too that other entrances are adored in the baths. But if there are beings which are adored in entrances, it is to them that both the lamps and the laurels will pertain. To an idol you will have done whatever you shall have done to an entrance. In this place I call a witness on the authority also of God; because it is not safe to suppress whatever may have been shown to one, of course for the sake of all. I know that a brother was severely chastised, the same night, through a vision, because on the sudden announcement of public rejoicings his servants had wreathed his gates. And yet himself had not wreathed, or commanded them to be wreathed; for he had gone forth from home before, and on his return had reprehended the deed. So strictly are we appraised with God in matters of this kind, even with regard to the discipline of our family. Therefore, as to what relates to the honours due to kings or emperors, we have a prescript sufficient, that it behooves us to be in all obedience, according to the apostle's precept, subject to magistrates, and princes, and powers; Titus 3:1 but within the limits of discipline, so long as we keep ourselves separate from idolatry. For it is for this reason, too, that that example of the three brethren has forerun us, who, in other respects obedient toward king Nebuchodonosor rejected with all constancy the honour to his image, Daniel 2-3 proving that whatever is extolled beyond the measure of human honour, unto the resemblance of divine sublimity, is idolatry. So too, Daniel, in all other points submissive to Darius, remained in his duty so long as it was free from danger to his religion; Daniel vi for, to avoid undergoing that danger, he feared the royal lions no more than they the royal fires. Let, therefore, them who have no light, light their lamps daily; let them over whom the fires of hell are imminent, affix to their posts, laurels doomed presently to burn: to them the testimonies of darkness and the omens of their penalties are suitable. You are a light of the world, and a tree ever green. If you have renounced temples, make not your own gate a temple. I have said too little. If you have renounced stews, clothe not your own house with the appearance of a new brothel.
4. Tertullian, Antidote For The Scorpion'S Sting, 1.8, 5.3, 5.7, 6.9-6.11 (2nd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

5. Origen, Exhortation To Martyrdom, 33 (3rd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
constantine, conversion to christianity Leibner and Hezser, Jewish Art in Its Late Antique Context (2016) 306
daniel, book of Leibner and Hezser, Jewish Art in Its Late Antique Context (2016) 308
daniel Leibner and Hezser, Jewish Art in Its Late Antique Context (2016) 306, 308
hippolytus of rome Leibner and Hezser, Jewish Art in Its Late Antique Context (2016) 308
jerome Leibner and Hezser, Jewish Art in Its Late Antique Context (2016) 308
lazarus Leibner and Hezser, Jewish Art in Its Late Antique Context (2016) 306
martyrdom/martyrs Tabbernee, Fake Prophecy and Polluted Sacraments: Ecclesiastical and Imperial Reactions to Montanism (2007) 246
martyrs, christian Leibner and Hezser, Jewish Art in Its Late Antique Context (2016) 306
moses Allison, 4 Baruch (2018) 446, 447
nebuchadnezzar Leibner and Hezser, Jewish Art in Its Late Antique Context (2016) 306, 308
persecutions' Tabbernee, Fake Prophecy and Polluted Sacraments: Ecclesiastical and Imperial Reactions to Montanism (2007) 246
repentance Allison, 4 Baruch (2018) 446
stoning Allison, 4 Baruch (2018) 446, 447
tertullian Leibner and Hezser, Jewish Art in Its Late Antique Context (2016) 308; Tabbernee, Fake Prophecy and Polluted Sacraments: Ecclesiastical and Imperial Reactions to Montanism (2007) 246
three hebrew youths Leibner and Hezser, Jewish Art in Its Late Antique Context (2016) 306
torah Allison, 4 Baruch (2018) 446
trinity Leibner and Hezser, Jewish Art in Its Late Antique Context (2016) 306
valentinians/valentinianism/valentinus Tabbernee, Fake Prophecy and Polluted Sacraments: Ecclesiastical and Imperial Reactions to Montanism (2007) 246
wilderness/desert Allison, 4 Baruch (2018) 446