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Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database

Tertullian, On The Flesh Of Christ, 5.2

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1. Ignatius, To The Smyrnaeans, 7.1, 12.2 (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

2. New Testament, Acts, 1.13, 1.21-1.22 (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

1.13. When they had come in, they went up into the upper room, where they were staying; that is Peter, John, James, Andrew, Philip, Thomas, Bartholomew, Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, Simon the Zealot, and Judas the son of James. 1.21. of the men therefore who have accompanied us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and went out among us 1.22. beginning from the baptism of John, to the day that he was received up from us, of these one must become a witness with us of his resurrection.
3. New Testament, Luke, 3.23-3.31, 4.30, 24.37-24.40 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

3.23. Jesus himself, when he began to teach, was about thirty years old, being the son (as was supposed) of Joseph, the son of Heli 3.24. the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, the son of Melchi, the son of Jannai, the son of Joseph 3.25. the son of Mattathias, the son of Amos, the son of Nahum, the son of Esli, the son of Naggai 3.26. the son of Maath, the son of Mattathias, the son of Semein, the son of Joseph, the son of Judah 3.27. the son of Joa, the son of Rhesa, the son of Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel, the son of Neri 3.28. the son of Melchi, the son of Addi, the son of Cosam, the son of Elmodam, the son of Er 3.29. the son of Josa, the son of Eliezer, the son of Jorim, the son of Matthat, the son of Levi 3.30. the son of Simeon, the son of Judah, the son of Joseph, the son of Jo, the son of Eliakim 3.31. the son of Melea, the son of Me, the son of Mattatha, the son of Nathan, the son of David 4.30. But he, passing through the midst of them, went his way. 24.37. But they were terrified and filled with fear, and supposed that they had seen a spirit. 24.38. He said to them, "Why are you troubled? Why do doubts arise in your hearts? 24.39. See my hands and my feet, that it is truly me. Touch me and see, for a spirit doesn't have flesh and bones, as you see that I have. 24.40. When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet.
4. Irenaeus, Refutation of All Heresies, 5.11-5.28, 5.31-5.36 (2nd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

5.11. They denominate themselves, however, Peratae, imagining that none of those things existing by generation can escape the determined lot for those things that derive their existence from generation. For if, says (the Peratic), anything be altogether begotten, it also perishes, as also is the opinion of the Sibyl. But we alone, he says, who are conversant with the necessity of generation, and the paths through which man has entered into the world, and who have been accurately instructed (in these matters), we alone are competent to proceed through and pass beyond destruction. But water, he says, is destruction; nor did the world, he says, perish by any other thing quicker than by water. Water, however, is that which rolls around among the Proastioi, (and) they assert (it to be) Cronus. For such a power, he says, is of the color of water; and this power, he says - that is, Cronus - none of those things existent by generation can escape. For Cronus is a cause to every generation, in regard of succumbing under destruction, and there could not exist (an instance of) generation in which Cronus does not interfere. This, he says, is what the poets also affirm, and what even appals the gods:- For know, he says, this earth and spacious heaven above, And Styx' flooded water, which is the oath That greatest is, and dreaded most by gods of happy life. And not only, he says, do the poets make this statement, but already also the very wisest men among the Greeks. And Heraclitus is even one of these, employing the following words: For to souls water becomes death. This death, (the Peratic) says, seizes the Egyptians in the Red Sea, along with their chariots. All, however, who are ignorant (of this fact), he says, are Egyptians. And this, they assert, is the departure from Egypt, (that is,) from the body. For they suppose little Egypt to be body, and that it crosses the Red Sea- that is, the water of corruption, which is Cronus - and that it reaches a place beyond the Red Sea, that is, generation; and that it comes into the wilderness, that is, that it attains a condition independent of generation, where there exist promiscuously all the gods of destruction and the God of salvation. Now, he says, the stars are the gods of destruction, which impose upon existent things the necessity of alterable generation. These, he says, Moses denominated serpents of the wilderness, which gnaw and utterly ruin those who imagined that they had crossed the Red Sea. To those, then, he says, who of the children of Israel were bitten in the wilderness, Moses exhibited the real and perfect serpent; and they who believed on this serpent were not bitten in the wilderness, that is, (were not assailed) by (evil) powers. No one therefore, he says, is there who is able to save and deliver those that come forth from Egypt, that is, from the body and from this world, unless alone the serpent that is perfect and replete with fullness. Upon this (serpent), he says, he who fixes his hope is not destroyed by the snakes of the wilderness, that is, by the gods of generation. (This statement) is written, he says, in a book of Moses. This serpent, he says, is the power that attended Moses, the rod that was turned into a serpent. The serpents, however, of the magicians - (that is,) the gods of destruction - withstood the power of Moses in Egypt, but the rod of Moses reduced them all to subjection and slew them. This universal serpent is, he says, the wise discourse of Eve. This, he says, is the mystery of Edem, this the river of Edem; this the mark that was set upon Cain, that any one who finds him might not kill him. This, he says, is Cain, whose sacrifice the god of this world did not accept. The gory sacrifice, however, of Abel he approved of; for the ruler of this world rejoices in (offerings of) blood. This, he says, is he who appeared in the last days, in form of a man, in the times of Herod, being born after the likeness of Joseph, who was sold by the hand of his brethren, to whom alone belonged the coat of many colors. This, he says, is he who is according to the likeness of Esau, whose garment - he not being himself present - was blessed; who did not receive, he says, the benediction uttered by him of enfeebled vision. He acquired, however, wealth from a source independent of this, receiving nothing from him whose eyes were dim; and Jacob saw his countece, as a man beholds the face of God. In regard of this, he says, it has been written that Nebrod was a mighty hunter before the Lord. And there are, he says, many who closely imitate this (Nimrod): as numerous are they as the gnawing (serpents) which were seen in the wilderness by the children of Israel, from which that perfect serpent which Moses set up delivered those that were bitten. This, he says, is that which has been declared: In the same manner as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so also must the Son of man be lifted up. According to the likeness of this was made in the desert the brazen serpent which Moses set up. of this alone, he says, the image is in heaven, always conspicuous in light. This, he says, is the great beginning respecting which Scripture has spoken. Concerning this, he says it has been declared: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. This was in the beginning with God, all things were made by Him, and without Him was not one thing that was made. And what was formed in Him is life. And in Him, he says, has been formed Eve; (now) Eve is life. This, however, he says, is Eve, mother of all living, - a common nature, that is, of gods, angels, immortals, mortals, irrational creatures, (and) rational ones. For, he says, the expression all he uttered of all (existences). And if the eyes of any, he says, are blessed, this one, looking upward on the firmament, will behold at the mighty summit of heaven the beauteous image of the serpent, turning itself, and becoming an originating principle of every (species of) motion to all things that are being produced. He will (thereby) know that without him nothing consists, either of things in heaven, or things on earth. or things under the earth. Not night, not moon, not fruits, not generation, not wealth, not sustece, not anything at all of existent things, is without his guidance. In regard of this, he says, is the great wonder which is beheld in the firmament by those who are able to observe it. For, he says, at this top of his head, a fact which is more incredible than all things to those who are ignorant, are setting and rising mingled one with other. This it is in regard of which ignorance is in the habit of affirming: in heaven Draco revolves, marvel mighty of monster dread. And on both sides of him have been placed Corona and Lyra; and above, near the top itself of the head, is visible the piteous man Engonasis, Holding the right foot's end of Draco fierce. And at the back of Engonasis is an imperfect serpent, with both hands tightly secured by Anguitenens, and being hindered from touching Corona that lies beside the perfect serpent. 5.12. This is the diversified wisdom of the Peratic heresy, which it is difficult to declare in its entirety, so intricate is it on account of its seeming to consist of the astrological art.' As far forth, then, as this is possible, we shall briefly explain the whole force of this (heresy). In order, however, that we may by a compendious statement elucidate the entire doctrine of these persons, it appears expedient to subjoin the following observations. According to them, the universe is Father, Son, (and) Matter; (but) each of these three has endless capacities in itself. Intermediate, then, between the Matter and the Father sits the Son, the Word, the Serpent, always being in motion towards the unmoved Father, and (towards) Matter itself in motion. And at one time he is turned towards the Father, and receives the powers into his own person; but at another time takes up these powers, and is turned towards Matter. And Matter, (though) devoid of attribute, and being unfashioned, moulds (into itself) forms from the Son which the Son moulded from the Father. But the Son derives shape from the Father after a mode ineffable, and unspeakable, and unchangeable; (that is,) in such a manner as Moses says that tire colors of the conceived (cattle) flowed from the rods which were fixed in the drinking-troughs. And in like manner, again, that capacities flowed also from the Son into Matter, similarly to the power in reference to conception which came from the rods upon the conceived (cattle). And the difference of colors, and the dissimilarity which flowed from the rods through the waters upon the sheep, is, he says, the difference of corruptible and incorruptible generation. As, however, one who paints from nature, though he takes nothing away from animals, transfers by his pencil all forms to the canvas; so the Son, by a power which belongs to himself, transfers paternal marks from the Father into Matter. All the paternal marks are here, and there are not any more. For if any one, he says, of those (beings) which are here will have strength to perceive that he is a paternal mark transferred hither from above, (and that he is) incarnate - just as by the conception resulting from the rod a something white is produced - he is of the same substance altogether with the Father in heaven, and returns there. If, however, he may not happen upon this doctrine, neither will he understand the necessity of generation, just as an abortion born at night will perish at night. When, therefore, he says, the Saviour observes, your Father which is in heaven, he alludes to that one from whom the Son deriving his characteristics has transferred them hither. When, however, (Jesus) remarks, Your father is a murderer from the beginning, he alludes to the Ruler and Demiurge of matter, who, appropriating the marks delivered from the Son, generated him here who from the beginning was a murderer, for his work causes corruption and death. No one, then, he says, can be saved or return (into heaven) without the Son, and the Son is the Serpent. For as he brought down from above the paternal marks, so again he carries up from thence those marks roused from a dormant condition and rendered paternal characteristics, substantial ones from the unsubstantial Being, transferring them hither from thence. This, he says, is what is spoken: I am the door. And he transfers (those marks), he says, to those who close the eyelid, as the naphtha drawing the fire in every direction towards itself; nay rather, as the magnet (attracting) the iron and not anything else, or just as the backbone of the sea falcon, the gold and nothing else, or as the chaff is led by the amber. In this manner, he says, is the portrayed, perfect, and con-substantial genus drawn again from the world by the Serpent; nor does he (attract) anything else, as it has been sent down by him. For a proof of this, they adduce the anatomy of the brain, assimilating, from the fact of its immobility, the brain itself to the Father, and the cerebellum to the Son, because of its being moved and being of the form of (the head of) a serpent. And they allege that this (cerebellum), by an ineffable and inscrutable process, attracts through the pineal gland the spiritual and life-giving substance emanating from the vaulted chamber (in which the brain is embedded). And on receiving this, the cerebellum in an ineffable manner imparts the ideas, just as the Son does, to matter; or, in other words, the seeds and the genera of the things produced according to the flesh flow along into the spinal marrow. Employing this exemplar, (the heretics) seem to adroitly introduce their secret mysteries, which are delivered in silence. Now it would be impious for us to declare these; yet it is easy to form an idea of them, by reason of the many statements that have been made. 5.13. But since I consider that I have plainly explained the Peratic heresy, and by many (arguments) have rendered evident (a system that hitherto) has always escaped notice, and is altogether a tissue of fable, and one that disguises its own peculiar venom, it seems expedient to advance no further statement beyond those already put forward; for the opinions propounded by (the heretics) themselves are sufficient for their own condemnation. 5.14. Let us then see what the Sithians affirm. To these it appears that there are three definite principles of the universe, and that each of these principles possesses infinite powers. And when they speak of powers let him that hears take into account that they make this statement. Everything whatsoever you discern by an act of intelligence, or also omit (to discern) as not being understood, this by nature is fitted to become each of the principles, as in the human soul every art whatsoever which is made the subject of instruction. Just for instance, he says, this child will be a musician, having waited the requisite time for (acquiring a knowledge of) the harp; or a geometrician, (having previously undergone the necessary study for acquiring a knowledge) of geometry; (or) a grammarian, (after having sufficiently studied) grammar; (or) a workman, (having acquired a practical acquaintance) with a handicraftsman's business; and to one brought into contact with the rest of the arts a similar occurrence will take place. Now of principles, he says, the substances are light and darkness; and of these, spirit is intermediate without admixture. The spirit, however, is that which has its appointed place in the midst of darkness which is below, and light which is above. It is not spirit as a current of wind, or some gentle breeze that can be felt; but, as it were, some odour of ointment or of incense formed out of a compound. (It is) a subtle power, that insinuates itself by means of some impulsive quality in a fragrance, which is inconceivable and better than could be expressed by words. Since, however, light is above and darkness below, and spirit is intermediate in such a way as stated between these; and since light is so constituted, that, like a ray of the sun, it shines from above upon the underlying darkness; and again, since the fragrance of the spirit, holding an intermediate place, is extended and carried in every direction, as in the case of incense-offerings placed upon fire, we detect the fragrance that is being wafted in every direction: when, I say, there is a power of this description belonging unto the principles which are classified under three divisions, the power of spirit and light simultaneously exists in the darkness that is situated underneath them. But the darkness is a terrible water, into which light is absorbed and translated into a nature of the same description with spirit. The darkness, however, is not devoid of intelligence, but altogether reflective, and is conscious that, where the light has been abstracted from the darkness, the darkness remains isolated, invisible, obscure, impotent, inoperative, (and) feeble. Wherefore it is constrained, by all its reflection and understanding, to collect into itself the lustre and scintillation of light with the fragrance of the spirit. And it is possible to behold an image of the nature of these in the human countece; for instance, the pupil of the eye, dark from the subjacent humours, (but) illuminated with spirit. As, then, the darkness seeks after the splendour, that it may keep in bondage the spark, and may have perceptive power, so the light and spirit seek after the power that belongs to themselves, and strive to uprear, and towards each other to carry up their intermingled powers into the dark and formidable water lying underneath. But all the powers of the three originating principles, which are as regards number indefinitely infinite, are each according to its own substance reflective and intelligent, unnumbered in multitude. And since what are reflective and intelligent are numberless in multitude, while they continue by themselves, they are all at rest. If, however, power approaches power, the dissimilarity of (what is set in) juxtaposition produces a certain motion and energy, which are formed from the motion resulting from the concourse effected by the juxtaposition of the coalescing powers. For the concourse of the powers ensues, just like any mark of a seal that is impressed by means of the concourse correspondingly with (the seal) which prints the figure on the substances that are brought up (into contact with it). Since, therefore, the powers of the three principles are infinite in number, and from infinite powers (arise) infinite concourses, images of infinite seals are necessarily produced. These images, therefore, are the forms of the different sorts of animals. From the first great concourse, then, of the three principles, ensues a certain great form, a seal of heaven and earth. The heaven and the earth have a figure similar to the womb, having a navel in the midst; and if, he says, any one is desirous of bringing this figure under the organ of vision, let him artfully scrutinize the pregt womb of whatsoever animal he wishes, and he will discover an image of the heaven and the earth, and of the things which in the midst of all are unalterably situated underneath. (And so it is, that the first great concourse of the three principles) has produced such a figure of heaven and earth as is similar to a womb after the first coition. But, again, in the midst of the heaven and the earth have been generated infinite concourses of powers. And each concourse did not effect and fashion anything else than a seal of heaven and earth similar to a womb. But, again, in the earth, from the infinite seals are produced infinite crowds of various animals. But into all this infinity of the different animals under heaven is diffused and distributed, along with the light, the fragrance of the Spirit from above. From the water, therefore, has been produced a first-begotten originating principle, viz., wind, (which is) violent and boisterous, and a cause of all generation. For producing a sort of ferment in the waters, (the wind) uplifts waves out of the waters; and the motion of the waves, just as when some impulsive power of pregcy is the origin of the production of a man or mind, is caused when (the ocean), excited by the impulsive power of spirit, is propelled forward. When, however, this wave that has been raised out of the water by the wind, and rendered pregt in its nature, has within itself obtained the power, possessed by the female, of generation, it holds together the light scattered from above along with the fragrance of the spirit - that is, mind moulded in the different species. And this (light) is a perfect God, who from the unbegotten radiance above, and from the spirit, is borne down into human nature as into a temple, by the impulsive power of Nature, and by the motion of wind. And it is produced from water being commingled and blended with bodies as if it were a salt of existent things, and a light of darkness. And it struggles to be released from bodies, and is not able to find liberation and an egress for itself For a very diminutive spark, a severed splinter from above like the ray of a star, has been mingled in the much compounded waters of many (existences), as, says he, (David) remarks in a psalm. Every thought, then, and solicitude actuating the supernal light is as to how and in what manner mind may be liberated, by the death of the depraved and dark body, from the Father that is below, which is the wind that with noise and tumult uplifted the waves, and who generated a perfect mind his own Son; not, however, being his peculiar (offspring) substantially. For he was a ray (sent down) from above, from that perfect light, (and) was overpowered in the dark, and formidable, and bitter, and defiled water; and he is a luminous spirit borne down over the water. When, therefore, the waves that have been upreared from the waters have received within themselves the power of generation possessed by females, they contain, as a certain womb, in different species, the infused radiance, so as that it is visible in the case of all animals. But the wind, at the same time fierce and formidable, whirling along, is, in respect of its hissing sound, like a serpent. First, then, from the wind - that is, from the serpent - has resulted the originating principle of generation in the manner declared, all things having simultaneously received the principle of generation. After, then, the light and the spirit had been received, he says, into the polluted and baneful (and) disordered womb, the serpent - the wind of the darkness, the first-begotten of the waters - enters within and produces man, and the impure womb neither loves nor recognises any other form. The perfect Word of supernal light being therefore assimilated (in form) to the beast, (that is,) the serpent, entered into the defiled womb, having deceived (the womb) through the similitude of the beast itself, in order that (the Word) may loose the chains that encircle the perfect mind which has been begotten amidst impurity of womb by the primal offspring of water, (namely,) serpent, wind, (and) beast. This, he says, is the form of the servant, and this the necessity of the Word of God coming down into the womb of a virgin. But he says it is not sufficient that the Perfect Man, the Word, has entered into the womb of a virgin, and loosed the pangs which were in that darkness. Nay, more than this was requisite; for after his entrance into the foul mysteries of the womb, he was washed, and drank of the cup of life-giving bubbling water. And it was altogether needful that he should drink who was about to strip off the servile form, and assume celestial raiment. 5.15. These are the statements which the patrons of the Sethian doctrines make, as far as it is possible to declare in a few words. Their system, however, is made up (of tenets) from natural (philosophers), and of expressions uttered in reference to different other subjects; and transferring (the sense of) these to the Eternal Logos, they explain them as we have declared. But they assert likewise that Moses confirms their doctrine when he says, Darkness, and mist, and tempest. These, (the Sethian) says, are the three principles (of our system); or when he states that three were born in paradise - Adam, Eve, the serpent; or when he speaks of three (persons, namely) Cain, Abel, Seth; and again of three (others)- Shem, Ham, Japheth; or when he mentions three patriarchs - Abraham, Isaac, Jacob; or when he speaks of the existence of three days before sun and moon; or when he mentions three laws- prohibitory, permissive, and adjudicatory of punishment. Now, a prohibitory law is as follows: of every tree that is in paradise you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you may not eat. But in the passage, Come forth from your land and from your kindred, and hither into a land which I shall show you, this law, he says, is permissive; for one who is so disposed may depart, and one who is not so disposed may remain. But a law adjudicatory of punishment is that which makes the following declaration: You shall not commit adultery, you shall not kill, you shall not steal; for a penalty is awarded to each of these acts of wickedness. The entire system of their doctrine, however, is (derived) from the ancient theologians Musaeus, and Linus, and Orpheus, who elucidates especially the ceremonies of initiation, as well as the mysteries themselves. For their doctrine concerning the womb is also the tenet of Orpheus; and the (idea of the) navel, which is harmony, is (to be found) with the same symbolism attached to it in the Bacchanalian orgies of Orpheus. But prior to the observance of the mystic rite of Celeus, and Triptolemus, and Ceres, and Proserpine, and Bacchus in Eleusis, these orgies have been celebrated and handed down to men in Phlium of Attica. For antecedent to the Eleusinian mysteries, there are (enacted) in Phlium the orgies of her denominated the Great (Mother). There is, however, a portico in this (city), and on the portico is inscribed a representation, (visible) up to the present day, of all the words which are spoken (on such occasions). Many, then, of the words inscribed upon that portico are those respecting which Plutarch institutes discussions in his ten books against Empedocles. And in the greater number of these books is also drawn the representation of a certain aged man, grey-haired, winged, having his pudendum erectum, pursuing a retreating woman of azure color. And over the aged man is the inscription phaos ruentes, and over the woman pereeµphicola . But phaos ruentes appears to be the light (which exists), according to the doctrine of the Sethians, and phicola the darkish water; while the space in the midst of these seems to be a harmony constituted from the spirit that is placed between. The name, however, of phaos ruentes manifests, as they allege, the flow from above of the light downwards. Wherefore one may reasonably assert that the Sethians celebrate rites among themselves, very closely bordering upon those orgies of the Great (Mother which are observed among) the Phliasians. And the poet likewise seems to bear his testimony to this triple division, when he remarks, And all things have been triply divided, and everything obtains its (proper) distinction; that is, each member of the threefold division has obtained (a particular) capacity. But now, as regards the tenet that the subjacent water below, which is dark, ought, because the light has set (over it), to convey upwards and receive the spark borne clown from (the light) itself; in the assertion of this tenet. I say, the all-wise Sethians appear to derive (their opinion) from Homer: - By earth I swore, and yon broad Heaven above, And Stygian stream beneath, the weightiest oath of solemn power, to bind the blessed gods. That is, according to Homer, the gods suppose water to be loathsome and horrible. Now, similar to this is the doctrine of the Sethians, which affirms (water) to be formidable to the mind. 5.16. These, and other assertions similar to these, are made (by the Sethians) in their interminable commentaries. They, however, persuade their disciples to become conversant with the theory respecting composition and mixture. But this theory has formed a subject of meditation to many, but (among others) also to Andronicus the Peripatetic. The Sethians, then, affirm that the theory concerning composition and mixture is constituted according to the following method: The luminous ray from above is intermingled, and the very diminutive spark is delicately blended in the dark waters beneath; and (both of these) become united, and are formed into one compound mass, just as a single savour (results) from the mixture of many incense-offerings in the fire, and (just as) an adept, by having a test in an acute sense of smell, ought to be able from the single odour of the incense to distinguish accurately each (ingredient) of the incense-offerings that have been mingled in the fire - whether, for example, storax, and myrrh, and frankincense, or whatever other (ingredient) may be mixed (in the incense). They, however, employ also other examples, saying both that brass is mixed with gold, and that some art has been discovered which separates the brass from the gold. And, in like manner, if tin or brass, or any substance homogeneous with it, be discovered mixed with silver, these likewise, by some art superior to that of mixing, are distinguished. But already some one also distinguishes water mingled with wine. So, say they, though all things are commingled, they are capable of being separated. Nay, but, he says, derive the same lesson from the case of animals. For when the animal is dead, each of its parts is separated; and when dissolution takes place, the animal in this way vanishes. This is, he says, what has been spoken: I came not to send peace on the earth, but a sword, - that is, the division and separation of the things that have been commingled. For each of the things that have been commingled is separated and divided when it reaches its proper place. For as there is one place of mixture for all animals, so also has there been established one (locality) of separation. And, he says, no one is aware of this (place), save we alone that have been born again, spiritual, not carnal, whose citizenship is in heaven above. In this manner insinuating themselves, they corrupt their pupils, partly by misusing the words spoken (by themselves), while they wickedly pervert, to serve any purpose they wish, what has been admirably said (in Scripture); and partly by concealing their nefarious conduct, by means of whatever comparisons they please. All these things, then, he says, that have been com-mingled, possess, as has been declared, their own particular place, and hurry towards their own peculiar (substances), as iron towards the magnet, and the chaff to the vicinity of amber, and the gold to the spur of the sea falcon. In like manner, the ray of light which has been com-mingled with the water, having obtained from discipline and instruction its own proper locality, hastens towards the Logos that comes from above in servile form; and along with the Logos exists as a logos in that place where the Logos is still: (the light, I say, hastens to the Logos with greater speed) than the iron towards the magnet. And that these things, he says, are so, and that all things that have been commingled are separated in their proper places, learn. There is among the Persians in a city Ampa, near the river Tills, a well; and near the well, at the top, has been constructed a certain reservoir, supplied with three outlets; and when one pumps from this well, and draws off some of its contents in a vessel, what is thus pumped out of the well, whatever it is at all, he pours into the reservoir hard by. And when what is thus infused reaches the outlets, and when what is taken up (out of each outlet) in a single vessel is examined, a separation is observed to have taken place. And in the first of the outlets is exhibited a concretion of salt, and in the second of asphalt, and in the third of oil; and the oil is black, just as, he says, Herodotus also narrates, and it yields a heavy smell, and the Persians call this rhadinace. The similitude of the well is, say the Sethians, more sufficient for the demonstration of their proposition than all the statements that have been previously made. 5.17. The opinion of the Sethians appears to us to have been sufficiently elucidated. If, however, any one is desirous of learning the entire doctrine according to them, let him read a book inscribed Paraphrase of Seth; for all their secret tenets he will find deposited there. But since we have explained the opinions entertained by the Sethians, let us see also what are the doctrines advanced by Justinus. 5.18. Justinus was entirely opposed to the teaching of the holy Scriptures, and moreover to the written or oral teaching of the blessed evangelists, according as the Logos was accustomed to instruct His disciples, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles; and this signifies that they should not attend to the futile doctrine of the Gentiles. This (heretic) endeavours to lead on his hearers into an acknowledgment of prodigies detailed by the Gentiles, and of doctrines inculcated by them. And he narrates, word for word, legendary accounts prevalent among the Greeks, and does not previously teach or deliver his perfect mystery, unless he has bound his dupe by an oath. Then he brings forward (these) fables for the purpose of persuasion, in order that they who are conversant with the incalculable trifling of these books may have some consolation in the details of these legends. Thus it happens as when in like manner one making a long journey deems it expedient, on having fallen in with an inn, to take repose. And so it is that, when once more they are induced to turn towards studying the diffuse doctrine of these lectures, they may not abhor them while they, undergoing instruction unnecessarily prolix, rush stupified into the transgression devised by (Justinus); and previously he binds his followers with horrible oaths, neither to publish nor abjure these doctrines, and forces upon them an acknowledgment (of their truth). And in this manner he delivers the mysteries impiously discovered by himself, partly, according to the statements previously made, availing himself of the Hellenic legends, and partly of those pretended books which, to some extent, bear a resemblance to the foresaid heresies. For all, forced together by one spirit, are drawn into one profound abyss of pollution, inculcating the same tenets, and detailing the same legends, each after a different method. All those, however, style themselves Gnostics in this peculiar sense, that they alone themselves have imbibed the marvellous knowledge of the Perfect and Good (Being). 5.19. But swear, says Justinus, if you wish to know what eye has not seen, and ear has not heard, and the things which have not entered into the heart; that is, if you wish to know Him who is good above all, Him who is more exalted, (swear) that you will preserve the secrets (of the Justinian) discipline, as intended to be kept silent. For also our Father, on beholding the Good One, and on being initiated with Him, preserved the mysteries respecting which silence is enjoined, and swore, as it has been written, The Lord swore, and will not repent. Having, then, in this way set the seal to these tenets, he seeks to inveigle (his followers) with more legends, (which are detailed) through a greater number of books; and so he conducts (his readers) to the Good One, consummating the initiated (by admitting them into) the unspeakable Mysteries. In order, however, that we may not wade through more of their volumes, we shall illustrate the ineffable Mysteries (of Justinus) from one book of his, inasmuch as, according to his supposition, it is (a work) of high repute. Now this volume is inscribed Baruch; and one fabulous account out of many which is explained by (Justinus) in this (volume), we shall point out, inasmuch as it is to be found in Herodotus. But after imparting a different shape to this (account), he explains it to his pupils as if it were something novel, being under the impression that the entire arrangement of his doctrine (springs) out of it. 5.20. Herodotus, then, asserts that Hercules, when driving the oxen of Geryon from Erytheia, came into Scythia, and that, being wearied with travel-ling, he retired into some desert spot and slept for a short time. But while he slumbered his horse disappeared, seated on which he had performed his lengthened journey. On being aroused from repose, he, however, instituted a diligent search through the desert, endeavouring to discover his horse. And though he is unsuccessful in his search after the horse, he yet finds in the desert a certain damsel, half of whose form was that of woman, and proceeded to question her if she had seen the horse anywhere. The girl, however, replies that she had seen (the animal), but that she would not show him unless Hercules previously would come along with her for the purpose of sexual intercourse. Now Herodotus informs us that her upper parts as far as the groin were those of a virgin, but that everything below the body after the groin presented some horrible appearance of a snake. In anxiety, however, for the discovery of his horse, Hercules complies with the monster's request; for he knew her (carnally), and made her pregt. And he foretold, after coition, that she had by him in her womb three children at the same time, who were destined to become illustrious. And he ordered that she, on bringing forth, should impose on the children as soon as born the following names: Agathyrsus, Gelonus, and Scytha. And as the reward of this (favour) receiving his horse from the beast-like damsel, he went on his way, taking with him the cattle also. But after these (details), Herodotus has a protracted account; adieu, however, to it for the present. But what the opinions are of Justinus, who transfers this legend into (his account of) the generation of the universe, we shall explain. 5.21. This (heresiarch) makes the following statement. There are three unbegotten principles of the universe, two male (and) one female. of the male (principles), however, a certain one, is denominated good, and it alone is called after this manner, and possesses a power of prescience concerning the universe. But the other is father of all begotten things, devoid of prescience, and invisible. And the female (principle) is devoid of prescience, passionate, two-minded, two-bodied, in every respect answering (the description of) the girl in the legend of Herodotus, as far as the groin a virgin, and (in) the parts below (resembling) a snake, as Justinus says. But this girl is styled Edem and Israel. And these principles of the universe are, he says, roots and fountains from which existing things have been produced, but that there was not anything else. The Father, then, who is devoid of prescience, beholding that half-woman Edem, passed into a concupiscent desire for her. But this Father, he says, is called Elohim. Not less did Edem also long for Elohim, and the mutual passion brought them together into the one nuptial couch of love. And from such an intercourse the Father generates out of Edem unto himself twelve angels. And the names of the angels begotten by the Father are these: Michael, Amen, Baruch, Gabriel, Esaddaeus.... And of the maternal angels which Edem brought forth, the names in like manner have been subjoined, and they are as follows: Babel, Achamoth, Naas, Bel, Belias, Satan, Saël, Adonaeus, Leviathan, Pharao, Carcamenos, (and) Lathen. of these twenty-four angels the paternal ones are associated with the Father, and do all things according to His will; and the maternal (angels are associated with) Edem the Mother. And the multitude of all these angels together is Paradise, he says, concerning which Moses speaks: God planted a garden in Eden towards the east, that is, towards the face of Edem, that Edem might behold the garden - that is, the angels- continually. Allegorically the angels are styled trees of this garden, and the tree of life is the third of the paternal angels- Baruch. And the tree of the knowledge of good and evil is the third of the maternal angels- Naas. For so, says (Justinus), one ought to interpret the words of Moses, observing, Moses said these things disguisedly, from the fact that all do not attain the truth. And, he says, Paradise being formed from the conjugal joy of Elohim and Edem, the angels of Elohim receiving from the most beauteous earth, that is, not from the portion of Edem resembling a monster, but from the parts above the groin of human shape, and gentle - in aspect - make man out of the earth. But out of the parts resembling a monster are produced wild beasts, and the rest of the animal creation. They made man, therefore, as a symbol of the unity and love (subsisting) between them; and they depute their own powers unto him, Edem the soul, but Elohim the spirit. And the man Adam is produced as some actual seal and memento of love, and as an everlasting emblem of the marriage of Edem and Elohim. And in like manner also Eve was produced, he says, as Moses has described, an image and emblem (as well as) a seal, to be preserved for ever, of Edem. And in like manner also a soul was deposited in Eve, - an image - from Edem, but a spirit from Elohim. And there were given to them commandments, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, that is, Edem; for so he wishes that it had been written. For the entire of the power belonging unto herself, Edem conferred upon Elohim as a sort of nuptial dowry. Whence, he says, from imitation of that primary marriage up to this day, women bring a dowry to their husbands, complying with a certain divine and paternal law that came into existence on the part of Edem towards Elohim. And when all things were created as has been described by Moses- both heaven and earth, and the things therein - the twelve angels of the Mother were divided into four principles, and each fourth part of them is called a river - Phison, and Gehon, and Tigris, and Euphrates, as, he says, Moses states. These twelve angels, being mutually connected, go about into four parts, and manage the world, holding from Edem a sort of viceregal authority over the world. But they do not always continue in the same places, but move around as if in a circular dance, changing place after place, and at set times and intervals retiring to the localities subject to themselves. And when Phison holds sway over places, famine, distress, and affliction prevail in that part of the earth, for the battalion of these angels is niggardly. In like manner also there belong to each part of the four, according to the power and nature of each, evil times and hosts of diseases. And continually, according to the dominion of each fourth part, this stream of evil, just (like a current) of rivers, careers, according to the will of Edem, uninterruptedly around the world. And from some cause of this description has arisen the necessity of evil. When Elohim had prepared and created the world as a result from joint pleasure, He wished to ascend up to the elevated parts of heaven, and to see that not anything of what pertained to the creation laboured under deficiency. And He took His Own angels with Him, for His nature was to mount aloft, leaving Edem below: for inasmuch as she was earth, she was not disposed to follow upward her spouse. Elohim, then, coming to the highest part of heaven above, and beholding a light superior to that which He Himself had created, exclaimed, Open me the gates, that entering in I may acknowledge the Lord; for I considered Myself to be Lord. A voice was returned to Him from the light, saying, This is the gate of the Lord: through this the righteous enter in. And immediately the gate was opened, and the Father, without the angels, entered, (advancing) towards the Good One, and beheld what eye has not seen, and ear has not heard, and what has not entered into the heart of man to (conceive). Then the Good One says to him, Sit on my right hand. And the Father says to the Good One, Permit me, Lord, to overturn the world which I have made, for my spirit is bound to men. And I wish to receive it back (from them. Then the Good One replies to him, No evil can you do while you are with me, for both you and Edem made the world as a result of conjugal joy. Permit Edem, then, to hold possession of the world as long as she wishes; but do you remain with me. Then Edem, knowing that she had been deserted by Elohim, was seized with grief, and placed beside herself her own angels. And she adorned herself after a comely fashion, if by any means Elohim, passing into concupiscent desire, might descend (from heaven) to her. When, however, Elohim, overpowered by the Good One, no longer descended to Edem, Edem commanded Babel, which is Venus, to cause adulteries and dissolutions of marriages among men. (And she adopted this expedient) in order that, as she had been divorced from Elohim, so also the spirit of Elohim, which is in men, being wrong with sorrow, might be punished by such separations, and might undergo precisely the sufferings which (were being endured by) the deserted Edem. And Edem gives great power to her third angel, Naas, that by every species of punishment she might chasten the spirit of Elohim which is in men, in order that Elohim, through the spirit, might be punished for having deserted his spouse, in violation of the agreements entered into between them. Elohim the father, seeing these things, sends forth Baruch, the third angel among his own, to succour the spirit that is in all men. Baruch then coming, stood in the midst of the angels of Edem, that is, in the midst of paradise - for paradise is the angels, in the midst of whom he stood - and issued to the man the following injunction: of every tree that is in paradise you may freely eat, but you may not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, which is Naas. Now the meaning is, that he should obey the rest of the eleven angels of Edem, for the eleven possess passions, but are not guilty of transgression. Naas, however, has committed sin, for he went in unto Eve, deceiving her, and debauched her; and (such an act as) this is a violation of law. He, however, likewise went in unto Adam, and had unnatural intercourse with him; and this is itself also a piece of turpitude, whence have arisen adultery and sodomy. Henceforward vice and virtue were prevalent among men, arising from a single source - that of the Father. For the Father having ascended to the Good One, points out from time to time the way to those desirous of ascending (to him likewise). After having, however, departed from Edem, he caused an originating principle of evil for the spirit of the Father that is in men. Baruch therefore was dispatched to Moses, and through him spoke to the children of Israel, that they might be converted unto the Good One. But the third angel (Naas), by the soul which came from Edem upon Moses, as also upon all men, obscured the precepts of Baruch, and caused his own peculiar injunctions to be hearkened unto. For this reason the soul is arrayed against the spirit, and the spirit against the soul. For the soul is Edem, but the spirit Elohim, and each of these exists in all men, both females and males. Again, after these (occurrences), Baruch was sent to the Prophets, that through the Prophets the spirit that dwells in men might hear (words of warning), and might avoid Edem and the wicked fiction, just as the Father had fled from Elohim. In like manner also - by the prophets - Naas, by a similar device, through the soul that dwells in man, along with the spirit of the Father, enticed away the prophets, and all (of them) were allured after him, and did not follow the words of Baruch, which Elohim enjoined. Ultimately Elohim selected Hercules, an uncircumcised prophet, and sent him to quell the twelve angels of Edem, and release the Father from the twelve angels, those wicked ones of the creation. These are the twelve conflicts of Hercules which Hercules underwent, in order, from first to last, viz., Lion, and Hydra, and Boar, and the others successively. For they say that these are the names (of them) among the Gentiles, and they have been derived with altered denominations from the energy of the maternal angels. When he seemed to have vanquished his antagonists, Omphale - now she is Babel or Venus - clings to him and entices away Hercules, and divests him of his power, viz., the commands of Baruch which Elohim issued. And in place (of this power, Babel) envelopes him in her own peculiar robe, that is, in the power of Edem, who is the power below; and in this way the prophecy of Hercules remained unfulfilled, and his works. Finally, however, in the days of Herod the king, Baruch is dispatched, being sent down once more by Elohim; and coming to Nazareth, he found Jesus, son of Joseph and Mary, a child of twelve years, feeding sheep. And he announces to him all things from the beginning, whatsoever had been done by Edem and Elohim, and whatsoever would be likely to take place hereafter, and spoke the following words: All the prophets anterior to you have been enticed. Put forth an effort, therefore, Jesus, Son of man, not to be allured, but preach this word unto men, and carry back tidings to them of things pertaining to the Father, and things pertaining to the Good One, and ascend to the Good One, and sit there with Elohim, Father of us all. And Jesus was obedient unto the angel, saying that, I shall do all things, Lord, and proceeded to preach. Naas therefore wished to entice this one also. (Jesus, however, was not disposed to listen to his overtures ), for he remained faithful to Baruch. Therefore Naas, being inflamed with anger because he was not able to seduce him, caused him to be crucified. He, however, leaving the body of Edem on the (accursed) tree, ascended to the Good One; saying, however, to Edem, Woman, you retain your son, that is, the natural and the earthly man. But (Jesus) himself commending his spirit into the hands of the Father, ascended to the Good One. Now the Good One is Priapus, (and) he it is who antecedently caused the production of everything that exists. On this account he is styled Priapus, because he previously fashioned all things (according to his own design). For this reason, he says, in every temple is placed his statue, which is revered by every creature; and (there are images of him) in the highways, carrying over his head ripened fruits, that is, the produce of the creation, of which he is the cause, having in the first instance formed, (according to His own design), the creation, when as yet it had no existence. When, therefore, he says, you hear men asserting that the swan went in unto Leda, and begot a child from her, (learn that) the swan is Elohim, and Leda Edem. And when people allege that an eagle went in unto Ganymede, (know that) the eagle is Naas, and Ganymede Adam. And when they assert that gold (in a shower) went in unto Danae and begot a child from her, (recollect that) the gold is Elohim, and Danae is Edem. And similarly, in the same manner adducing all accounts of this description, which correspond with (the nature of) legends, they pursue the work of instruction. When, therefore, the prophet says, Hearken, O heaven, and give ear, O earth; the Lord has spoken, he means by heaven, (Justinus) says, the spirit which is in man from Elohim; and by earth, the soul which is in man along with the spirit; and by Lord, Baruch; and by Israel, Edem, for Israel as well as Edem is called the spouse of Elohim. Israel, he says, did not know me (Elohim); for had he known me, that I am with the Good One, he would not have punished through paternal ignorance the spirit which is in men. 5.22. Hence also, in the first book inscribed Baruch, has been written the oath which they compel those to swear who are about to hear these mysteries, and be initiated with the Good One. And this oath, (Justinus) says, our Father Elohim swore when He was beside the Good One, and having sworn He did not repent (of the oath), respecting which, he says, it has been written, The Lord swore, and will not repent. Now the oath is couched in these terms: I swear by that Good One who is above all, to guard these mysteries, and to divulge them to no one, and not to relapse from the Good One to the creature. And when he has sworn this oath, he goes on to the Good One, and beholds whatever things eye has not seen, and ear has not heard, and which have not entered into the heart of man; and he drinks from life-giving water, which is to them, as they suppose, a bath, a fountain of life-giving, bubbling water. For there has been a separation made between water and water; and there is water, that below the firmament of the wicked creation, in which earthly and animal men are washed; and there is life-giving water, (that) above the firmament, of the Good One, in which spiritual (and) living men are washed; and in this Elohim washed Himself. and having washed did not repent. And when, he says, the prophet affirms, Take unto yourself a wife of whoredom, since the earth has abandoned itself to fornication, (departing) from (following) after the Lord; that is, Edem (departs) from Elohim. (Now) in these words, he says, the prophet clearly declares the entire mystery, and is not hearkened unto by reason of the wicked machinations of Naas. According to that same manner, they deliver other prophetical passages in a similar spirit of interpretation throughout numerous books. The volume, however, inscribed Baruch, is pre-eminently to them the one in which the reader will ascertain the entire explanation of their legendary system (to be contained). Beloved, though I have encountered many heresies, yet with no wicked (heresiarch) worse than this (Justinus) has it been my lot to meet. But, in truth, (the followers of Justinus) ought to imitate the example of his Hercules, and to cleanse, as the saying is, the cattle-shed of Augias, or rather I should say, a ditch, into which, as soon as the adherents of this (heresiarch) have fallen, they can never be cleansed; nay, they will not be able even to raise their heads. 5.23. Since, then, we have explained the attempts (at a system) of the pseudo-gnostic Justinus, it appears likewise expedient in the following books to elucidate the opinions put forward in heresies following (in the way of consequence upon the doctrines of Justinus), and to leave not a single one of these (speculators) unrefuted. Our refutation will be accomplished by adducing the assertions made by them; such (at least of their statements) as are sufficient for making a public example (of these heretics). (And we shall attain our purpose), even though there should only be condemned the secret and ineffable (mysteries) practised among them, into which, silly mortals that they are, scarcely (even) with considerable labour are they initiated. Let us then see what also Simon affirms.

Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
andrew Vinzent, Christ's Resurrection in Early Christianity and the Making of the New Testament (2013) 113
angel Lieu, Marcion and the Making of a Heretic: God and Scripture in the Second Century (2015) 374
apelles Lieu, Marcion and the Making of a Heretic: God and Scripture in the Second Century (2015) 374; Vinzent, Christ's Resurrection in Early Christianity and the Making of the New Testament (2013) 113
apologetics Lieu, Marcion and the Making of a Heretic: God and Scripture in the Second Century (2015) 374
apostles Vinzent, Christ's Resurrection in Early Christianity and the Making of the New Testament (2013) 113, 155
appearance Vinzent, Christ's Resurrection in Early Christianity and the Making of the New Testament (2013) 113, 155
baptism Vinzent, Christ's Resurrection in Early Christianity and the Making of the New Testament (2013) 113
birth Vinzent, Christ's Resurrection in Early Christianity and the Making of the New Testament (2013) 113, 155
blood Vinzent, Christ's Resurrection in Early Christianity and the Making of the New Testament (2013) 155
bread Vinzent, Christ's Resurrection in Early Christianity and the Making of the New Testament (2013) 113, 155
circumcision Vinzent, Christ's Resurrection in Early Christianity and the Making of the New Testament (2013) 155
covenant Vinzent, Christ's Resurrection in Early Christianity and the Making of the New Testament (2013) 113, 155
creation Vinzent, Christ's Resurrection in Early Christianity and the Making of the New Testament (2013) 113, 155
creator Vinzent, Christ's Resurrection in Early Christianity and the Making of the New Testament (2013) 113
cross Vinzent, Christ's Resurrection in Early Christianity and the Making of the New Testament (2013) 113, 155
empty tomb Vinzent, Christ's Resurrection in Early Christianity and the Making of the New Testament (2013) 113
encounter Vinzent, Christ's Resurrection in Early Christianity and the Making of the New Testament (2013) 113
first day of the week Vinzent, Christ's Resurrection in Early Christianity and the Making of the New Testament (2013) 113, 155
grace Vinzent, Christ's Resurrection in Early Christianity and the Making of the New Testament (2013) 155
hope Vinzent, Christ's Resurrection in Early Christianity and the Making of the New Testament (2013) 155
just Vinzent, Christ's Resurrection in Early Christianity and the Making of the New Testament (2013) 113, 155
law, biblical Lieu, Marcion and the Making of a Heretic: God and Scripture in the Second Century (2015) 3
law Vinzent, Christ's Resurrection in Early Christianity and the Making of the New Testament (2013) 113, 155
manger Vinzent, Christ's Resurrection in Early Christianity and the Making of the New Testament (2013) 155
mary Vinzent, Christ's Resurrection in Early Christianity and the Making of the New Testament (2013) 113, 155
matthew Vinzent, Christ's Resurrection in Early Christianity and the Making of the New Testament (2013) 113
mercy Lieu, Marcion and the Making of a Heretic: God and Scripture in the Second Century (2015) 3
monarchianism Vinzent, Christ's Resurrection in Early Christianity and the Making of the New Testament (2013) 155
new testament Lieu, Marcion and the Making of a Heretic: God and Scripture in the Second Century (2015) 9
old testament Lieu, Marcion and the Making of a Heretic: God and Scripture in the Second Century (2015) 374
paul Lieu, Marcion and the Making of a Heretic: God and Scripture in the Second Century (2015) 3
pauline tradition Vinzent, Christ's Resurrection in Early Christianity and the Making of the New Testament (2013) 113
peter Vinzent, Christ's Resurrection in Early Christianity and the Making of the New Testament (2013) 113
phantasm Lieu, Marcion and the Making of a Heretic: God and Scripture in the Second Century (2015) 374; Vinzent, Christ's Resurrection in Early Christianity and the Making of the New Testament (2013) 113, 155
philip Vinzent, Christ's Resurrection in Early Christianity and the Making of the New Testament (2013) 113
pontius pilate Vinzent, Christ's Resurrection in Early Christianity and the Making of the New Testament (2013) 155
power Vinzent, Christ's Resurrection in Early Christianity and the Making of the New Testament (2013) 113
prophets Vinzent, Christ's Resurrection in Early Christianity and the Making of the New Testament (2013) 113
rabbis Vinzent, Christ's Resurrection in Early Christianity and the Making of the New Testament (2013) 113, 155
realism Vinzent, Christ's Resurrection in Early Christianity and the Making of the New Testament (2013) 155
rome Vinzent, Christ's Resurrection in Early Christianity and the Making of the New Testament (2013) 113, 155
self-resurrection Vinzent, Christ's Resurrection in Early Christianity and the Making of the New Testament (2013) 155
simon the zealot Vinzent, Christ's Resurrection in Early Christianity and the Making of the New Testament (2013) 113
thomas Vinzent, Christ's Resurrection in Early Christianity and the Making of the New Testament (2013) 113
tomb Vinzent, Christ's Resurrection in Early Christianity and the Making of the New Testament (2013) 155
truly Vinzent, Christ's Resurrection in Early Christianity and the Making of the New Testament (2013) 155
twelve Vinzent, Christ's Resurrection in Early Christianity and the Making of the New Testament (2013) 113
valentinus Lieu, Marcion and the Making of a Heretic: God and Scripture in the Second Century (2015) 374
women Vinzent, Christ's Resurrection in Early Christianity and the Making of the New Testament (2013) 113
worship' Vinzent, Christ's Resurrection in Early Christianity and the Making of the New Testament (2013) 155