The Apostolic Fathers

by Randall Watters

Read them all online!

Quotes extracted from Eerdmans' The Ante-Nicene Fathers series (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1978)

[A.D. 100-200.] The Apostolic Fathers are here understood as filling up the second century of our era. Irenaeus, it is true, is rather of the sub-apostolic period; but, as the disciple of Polycarp, he ought not to be dissociated from that Father's company. These were times of heroism, not of words; an age, not of writers, but of soldiers; not of talkers, but of sufferers. These writings come down to us as the earliest response of converted peoples to the testimony of Jesus. They are primary evidences of the Canon and the credibility of the New Testament (abbreviated as NT).

The Fathers speak with the voices of infirm and fallible men, and not like the NT writers, with the fiery tongues of the Holy Ghost. Yet the thoughtful and loving spirit soon learns their exceeding value. For who does not close the records of St. Luke with longings to get at least a glimpse of the further history of the gospel? What of the church when its founders were asleep? Was the Good Shepherd "always" with his little flock, according to his promise? Was the Blessed Comforter felt in his presence amid the fires of persecution? Was the Spirit of Truth really able to guide the faithful into all truth, and to keep them in the truth?

What became of the disciples who were the first-fruits of the apostolic ministry? St. Paul had said, "The same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also." How was this injunction realized? St. Peter's touching words come to mind, "I will endeavor that ye may be able after my decease to have these things always in remembrance." Was this endeavor successfully carried out? To these natural and pious inquiries, the Apostolic Fathers, though we have a few specimens only of their fidelity, give an emphatic reply. If the coldhearted and critical find no charm in the simple, childlike faith which they exhibit, ennobled though it be by heroic devotion to the Master, we need not marvel. Such would probably object: "They teach me nothing; I do not relish their multiplied citations from Scripture." The answer is, "If you are familiar with Scripture, you owe it largely to these primitive witnesses to its canon and its spirit. By their testimony we detect what is spurious, and we identify what is real. Is it nothing to find that your Bible is their Bible, your faith their faith, your Savior their Savior, your God their God?" We are taught by them also that they obeyed the apostle's precept, "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing," etc. Thus they reflect the apostolic care that men should be raised up able to teach others also.

How do we identify what constitutes heresy from the Christian faith that was established by Jesus and his apostles?

Early in the history of the first Christians, "heresy" was used to refer to a separation or split resulting from a false faith. The King James Bible says at 1 Cor. 11:19:

"For there must also be heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you."

Also in Galatians 5:19,20: "Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are... heresies..." In the early church, heresy not only referred to doctrinal disagreements but to teachings that threatened to attack the basic foundations of Christianity. Heresy was primarily manifest in teachings regarding the nature of God and Christ.

The belief that heresy exists presupposes that there is such a thing as 'orthodoxy.' The interesting thing about examining the records of the early Christians as well as the NT itself is this: While orthodoxy is not spelled out in detail, heresy often is, which tells us two things. First of all, the Bible was not written as a book of detailed theology. It does not systematically explain its teachings regarding God and Christ. Secondly, such doctrines were not expounded upon in detail by the early Christians until faced with new or heretical concepts; at which point the early church would be forced into defining doctrine so as to create a hedge against heresy. To illustrate how this works, we will use Jesus' statements about his return with kingly power. He said in Matt. 24:27:

"For just as the lightning shines from the east to the west, so the coming of the Son of Man will be."

Also, in Rev. 1:7: "Look! He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him." Clear statements such as this would not need a detailed doctrinal exposition in order to grasp the significance of what Jesus was saying. His disciples would naturally accept it at face value. But only later when this obvious statement was allegorized or explained away in mystical terms would the true church have to spell out in detail the importance of believing that Jesus is to be taken literally. Christianity has often sought to clarify doctrine over the centuries due to the enormous implications of the heretical statements that occasionally appear. Another example of how the early Christians were compelled to clarify doctrine is in regard to the deity of Christ. The Bible plainly reveals that Christ shares the eternal essence and nature of his Father (Heb. 1:3). The Son, although subject to the Father, is equal to the Father by the very nature of his Being (John 1:1; John 10:30). Thomas called him "the Lord of me and the God (ho theos) of me." (John 20:28) Even the Jews plainly understood his claims to be equal with the Father (John 5:18), and put him to death for blasphemy because of it (not because he was performing miracles or good works, but for his claim of deity) and yet Jesus did not speak out to correct their understanding of his statements.

So obvious is the Bible on this point, that the deity of Christ was not challenged for the first three centuries of Christianity. In fact, the heresies that were addressed in the NT as well as the writings of the early church fathers implied that because Christ is God, he could not have been a true man (as the Gnostics and Docetists claimed). The apostle John addresses this in 1 John 4:13 and 2 John 7 by saying that 'every spirit not confessing Christ as coming in the flesh is not of God.' The heretics of their day denied that Christ could have had a human body, as their presupposed belief in the inherent corruption of the flesh made it absurd to them that God could have taken on human flesh (a disgusting thought to Gnostics). Due to the heresies that developed in the first few centuries of the Christian church, the early Christians were forced to define "the faith once delivered to the saints" (Jude 3) even further, so as to guard against the heresies that detracted from the work and nature of Christ towards mankind. So logically, as we examine the historical record, we will find the early Christians addressing the heresies as they appeared. Of course, this pattern is not exclusive to Christianity, but is followed by most religions. Issues do not generally have to be addressed until challenged by new teachings that threaten the basic principles of the faith. Often, the heretical doctrine precedes the official answer to the heretics. Of course, the original belief will stand out as implicit even before the new teaching is revealed, though perhaps not explicit.

****

To make a practical application of these points in regards to the teachings of Jehovah's Witnesses, let's consider the arguments of both orthodox Christians as well as the Watchtower's Governing Body regarding the deity of Christ. The Governing Body claims the early church believed that Jesus was the first creature made by Jehovah, known previously as Michael the Archangel. According to them, Jehovah chose Michael to become a man and pay the price for man's sins, to become 'like for like' to negate Adam's sin. He is not to be worshipped except in terms of giving him honor as a king, and does not have a body (they claim he has a 'spirit body', which is self-contradictory; having a body necessitates being made of material substance by any secular or Biblical definition. In an article attempting to debunk the Trinity (Feb. 1, 1984 WT, p. 5), the Governing Body claims that Jesus cannot be God because he was in subjection to his Father and was not omniscient while on earth. Also in the book What Has Religion Done For Mankind? on page 271 the claim is made that the truth about Christ was corrupted in the 3rd century when Emperor Constantine proclaimed 'the Trinity' to be the true doctrine. Thus, according to the Governing Body, apostasy appeared with the doctrine of the deity of Christ and the Trinity. They ignore the historical fact that their own particular theology on the nature of God long postdated the Trinitarian theology, as there is no record of any belief system like the Jehovah's Witnesses until centuries later!

An objective examination of the scriptures as well as the history of the early church reveals the absurdity of the WT claims. First and most important, the Bible itself literally calls Jesus God, and implies his equality with the Father. Jesus was worshipped with the same honor and dignity as the Father (John 5:23; Rev. 5:13,14). He is eternal (John 8:58; Rev. 1:8,17,18; 2:8; 21:6; 22:13), He heals and forgives sins (Mark 2:5-12), he knows the hearts of men (John 1:47-51; 2:25), he created all things (Col. 1:16), he raises himself from the dead (John 2:19), and answers prayer (John 14:14 (see the Watchtower's Kingdom Interlinear in the literal Greek). Yet, at the same time, Jesus is subject to the Father, in a headship arrangement (1 Cor. 11:3), much like that between husband and wife (an example of oneness and co-equality yet with different roles of authority).

As far as the history of the early Christians is concerned, there is no record of the church attacking the Arian heresy (that says Christ was created, and as such was not God) until the 3rd century. Arius, a bishop in the established Christian church, brought a new teaching to the Council of Nicea in 325 A.D., that of Christ being a 'creature'. He and his supporting bishops so shocked the rest of the bishops (by teaching that Christ is a created being) that even those present who had not yet decided on the matter roundly condemned Arius' view. Yet, unlike the Watchtower, Arius believed the Holy Spirit to be a person, although created by God.

Some critics of Christianity claim that the early Christians borrowed the concept of the continued existence of the soul from the pagans. But the pagan concept of the preexistence of the human soul and their negative view of the material world set them apart from the Christians. It must be noted that the Jews themselves, according to their own writings, believed that humans consist of body, soul and spirit. Their view of the afterlife was virtually identical to that of the 1st century Christians (The 16th chapter of Luke is an example of Jesus using the established beliefs of the Jews as a platform to warn them of the afterlife).

Harold O.J. Brown notes:

"It is important to note the difference between the early Christian conception of eternal life and the widespread Hellenistic assumption of the immortality of the soul. Although the Bible speaks, like classical paganism, of man as having a soul as well as a body, it does not see him as consisting essentially of a soul imprisoned in a fleshly body, as Platonism and much Hellenistic spirituality did. It sees him as a unity of soul and body.... Those from the Hellenistic world who did not recognize man as essentially a soul-body unity, but rather as a spirit temporarily embodied in flesh, found this interpretation of Jesus unattractive, and frequently diminished his full humanity, sometimes denying it altogether." (Heresies p. 31)

The working out of theology in understandable terms is a forced issue, necessitated by heresy itself. The early Christians worshipped Christ as God, and some wrote of the personality of the Holy Spirit. They knew that Christ was both man and God at the same time. But there appeared to be no need of defining their theology further until such concepts were attacked by heretics. Gnosticism, Marcionism, and Montanism soon made it apparent what would happen to Christianity if it had no generally accepted canons of scripture and faith. Apologetics, now called the defense of the faith, began as the defense of the faithful. When there are no fixed, clearly acknowledged standards, the wildest and most fanciful notions can become mixed in with basic Christian doctrines and it becomes very hard to separate them.

Often in cults the historical background of Christianity is ignored and a new world view is promoted. This is not unintentional, as even the first century Hellenistic Jews were embarrassed by what they considered the arbitrary, trivial and even barbarous aspects of their Old Testament revelation. Philo of Alexandria, a contemporary of Jesus and Paul and one of the greatest intellects of the ancient world, proposed to interpret revelation allegorically. This may have made the scriptures easier to believe, but ignored that the Bible revelation is rooted in real space-and-time history.

The following quotes from the Apostolic Fathers, including Irenaeus, Ignatius and Justin Martyr only represent a sampling of their statements on the topics represented. It is recommended that you read their entire works.

NOTE: After each quote from the Fathers, it gives the reference. Just below that you will find one or more words in parentheses. These are key index words, indicating the subject under discussion or the writer. For instance, (Polycarp/cross) would indicate that it is the writings of Polycarp, and it concerns the cross. Some of the subjects considered are eternal punishment, the cross, the Trinity, hell, the Holy Spirit, the Deity of Christ, the soul, and so on. These quotes are very helpful in locating key statements in the church Fathers that are flatly contradictory to Watchtower teaching! Each new quote segment begins with a "***". Quotes are taken from Eerdmans' The Ante-Nicene Fathers series (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1978). Good reading!

***

For the Christians are distinguished from other men neither by country, nor language, nor the customs which they observe. For they neither inhabit cities of their own, nor employ a peculiar form of speech, nor lead a life which is marked out by any singularity. The course of conduct which they follow has not been devised by any speculation or deliberation of inquisitive men; nor do they, like some, proclaim themselves the advocates of any merely human doctrines. But, inhabiting Greek as well as barbarian cities, according as the lot of each of them has determined, and following the customs of the natives in respect to clothing, food and the rest of their ordinary conduct, they display to us their wonderful and confessedly striking method of life. They dwell in their own countries, but simply as sojourners. As citizens, they share in all things with others, and yet endure all things as if foreigners. Every foreign land is to them as their native country, and every land of their birth as a land of strangers. They marry, as do all [others]; they beget children; but they do not destroy their offspring. They have a common table, but not a common bed. They are in the flesh, but they do not live after the flesh. They pass their days on earth, but they are citizens of heaven.

The Epistle of Mathetes to Diognetus, Chap. V (mathetes/christians)

***

To sum up all in one word - what the soul is in the body, that are Christians in the world. The soul is dispersed through all the members of the body, and Christians are scattered through all the cities of the world. The soul dwells in the body, yet is not of the body; and Christians dwell in the world, yet are not of the world. The invisible soul is guarded by the visible body, and Christians are known indeed to be in the world, but their godliness remains invisible. The flesh hates the soul, and wars against it, though itself suffering no injury, because it is prevented from enjoying pleasures; the world also hates the Christians, though in nowise injured, because they abjure pleasures. The soul loves the flesh that hates it, and [loves also] the members; Christians likewise love those that hate them. The soul is imprisoned in the body, yet preserves that very body; and Christians are confined in the world as in a prison, and yet they are the preservers of the world. The immortal soul dwells in a mortal tabernacle; and Christians dwell as sojourners in corruptible [bodies], looking for an incorruptible dwelling in the heavens.

The Epistle of Mathetes to Diognetus, Chap. VI

(mathetes/soul)

***

As a king sends his son, who is also a king, so sent He Him; as God He# sent Him; as to men He sent Him; as a Saviour He sent Him, and as seeking to persuade, not to compel us; for violence has no place in the character of God.

#"God" here refers to the person sent.

The Epistle of Mathetes to Diognetus, Chap. VII

(mathetes/God)

***

For which reason He sent the Word, that He might be manifested to the world; and He, being despised by the people [of the Jews], was, when preached by the Apostles, believed on by the Gentiles. This is He who was from the beginning, who appeared as if new, and was found old, and yet who is ever born afresh in the hearts of the saints. This is He who, being from everlasting, is today called the Son; through whom the Church is enriched, and through whom the Church is enriched, and grace, widely spread, increases in the saints, furnishing understanding, revealing mysteries, announcing times, rejoicing over the faithful, giving to those that seek, by whom the limits of faith are not broken through, nor the boundaries set by the fathers passed over.

The Epistle of Mathetes to Diognetus, Chap. XI

(mathetes/God)

***

[A.D. 65-100-155] The Epistle of Polycarp is usually made a sort of preface to those of Ignatius, for reasons which will be obvious to the reader. Yet he was born later, and lived to a much later period. They seem to have been friends from the days of their common pupilage under St. John; and there is nothing improbable in the conjecture of Usher, that he was the "angel of the church in Smyrna," to whom the Master says, "Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life." His pupil Irenaeus gives us one of the very few portraits of an apostolic man which are to be found in antiquity, in a few sentences which are a picture: "I could describe the very place in which the blessed Polycarp sat and taught; his going out and coming in; the whole tenor of his life; his personal appearance; how he would speak of the conversations he had held with John and with others who had seen the Lord."

(Polycarp/Irenaeus)

***

Of Polycarp's life little is known, but that little is highly interesting. Irenaeus was his disciple, and tells us that "Polycarp was instructed by the apostles, and was brought into contact with many who had seen Christ"

Introductory Note to the Epistle of Polycarp to the Philippians (Polycarp/Irenaeus)

***

But again the proconsul said to him, "I will cause thee to be consumed by fire, seeing thou despisest the wild beasts, if thou wilt not repent." But Polycarp said, "Thou threatenest me with fire which burneth for an hour, and after a little is extinguished, but are ignorant of the fire of the coming judgment and of eternal punishment, reserved for the ungodly. But why tarriest thou? Bring forth what thou wilt."

The Encyclical Epistle of the Church at Smyrna Concerning The Martyrdom of the Holy Polycarp, Chap. XI

(Polycarp)

***

I give Thee thanks that Thou hast counted me worthy of this day and this hour, that I should have a part in the number of Thy martyrs, in the cup of thy Christ, to the resurrection of eternal life, both of soul and body, through the incorruption [imparted] by the Holy Ghost. Among whom may I be accepted this day before Thee as a fat and acceptable sacrifice, according as Thou, the ever-truthful God, hast foreordained, has revealed beforehand to me, and now hast fulfilled. Wherefore also I praise Thee for all things, I bless Thee, I glorify Thee, along with the everlasting and heavenly Jesus Christ, Thy beloved Son, with whom, to Thee, and the Holy Ghost, be glory both now and to all coming ages. Amen."

The Encyclical Epistle of the Church at Smyrna Concerning The Martyrdom of the Holy Polycarp, Chap. XIV

(Polycarp)

***

...it is neither possible for us ever to forsake Christ, who suffered for the salvation of such as shall be saved throughout the whole world (the blameless one for sinners), nor to worship any other.

The Encyclical Epistle of the Church at Smyrna Concerning The Martyrdom of the Holy Polycarp, Chap. XVII

(Polycarp/worship)

***

We wish you, brethren, all happiness, while you walk according to the doctrine of the Gospel of Jesus Christ; with whom be glory to God the Father and the Holy Spirit, for the salvation of His holy elect, after whose example the blessed Polycarp suffered, following in whose steps may we too be found in the kingdom of Jesus Christ!

I have collected these things, when they had almost faded away through the lapse of time, that the Lord Jesus Christ may also gather me along with His elect into His heavenly kingdom, to whom, with the Father and the Holy Spirit, be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

The Encyclical Epistle of the Church at Smyrna Concerning The Martyrdom of the Holy Polycarp, Chap. XXII (trinity/Polycarp)

***

[A.D. 30-107] The seductive myth which represents this Father as the little child whom the Lord placed in the midst of his apostles (St. Matt. xviii. 2) indicates at least the period when he may be supposed to have been born. That he and Polycarp were fellow disciples under St. John, is a tradition by no means inconsistent with anything in the Epistles of either. His subsequent history is sufficiently indicated in the Epistles which follow.

It is plain that one or other of these exhibits a corrupt text, and scholars have for the most part agreed to accept the shorter form as representing the genuine letters of Ignatius. This was the opinion generally acquiesced in, from the time when critical editions of these Epistles began to be issued, down to our own day. Criticism, indeed, fluctuated a good deal as to which Epistles should be accepted and which rejected. Archp. Usher (1644), Isaac Vossius (1646), J.B. Cotelerius (1672), Dr. T. Smith (1709), and others, edited the writings ascribed to Ignatius in forms very considerably as to the order in which they were arranged, and the degree of authority assigned them, until at length, from about the beginning of the eighteenth century, the seven Greek Epistles, of which a translation is here given, came to be generally accepted in their shorter form as the genuine writings of Ignatius.

Before this date, however, there had not been wanting some who refused to acknowledge the authenticity of these Epistles in either of the recensions in which they were then known to exist. By far the most learned and elaborate work maintaining this position was that of Daille (or Dallaeus), published in 1666. This drew forth in reply the celebrated Vindiciae of Bishop Pearson, which appeared in 1672. It was generally supposed that this latter work had established on an immovable foundation the genuineness of the shorter form of the Ignatian Epistles; and, as we have stated above, this was the conclusion almost universally accepted down to our own day. The only considerable exception to this concurrence was presented by Whiston, who laboured to maintain in his Primitive Christianity Revived (1711) the superior claims of the longer recension of the Epistles, apparently influenced in doing so by the support which he thought they furnished to the kind of Arianism which he had adopted.

As to the personal history of Ignatius, almost nothing is known. The principal source of information regarding him is found in the account of his martyrdom, to which the reader is referred. Polycarp alludes to him in his Epistle to the Philippians (chap. ix.), and also to his letters (chap. xiii,). Irenaeus quotes a passage from his Epistle to the Romans (Adv. Haer., v. 28; Epist. ad Rom., chap. iv.), without, however, naming him. Origen twice refers to him, first in the preface to his Comm. on the Song of Solomon, where he quotes a passage from the Epistle of Ignatius to the Romans, and again in his sixth homily on St. Luke, where he quotes from the Epistle to the Ephesians, both times naming the author. It is unnecessary to give later references.

Introductory Note to the Epistle of Ignatius To The Ephesians

(Ignatius/critics)

***

Ignatius, who is also called Theophorus, to the Church which is at Ephesus, in Asia, deservedly most happy, being blessed in the greatness and fullness of God the Father, and predestinated before the beginning of time, that it should be always for an enduring and unchangeable glory, being united and elected through the true passion by the will of the Father, and Jesus Christ, our God: Abundant happiness through Jesus Christ, and His undefiled grace. (short version)

The Epistle of Ignatius to the Ephesians

(ignatius/God)

***

There is one Physician who is possessed both of flesh and spirit; both made and not made; God existing in flesh; true life in death; both of Mary and of God; first passible and then impassible,even Jesus Christ our Lord. (short version)

But our Physician is the only true God, the unbegotten and unapproachable, the Lord of all, the Father and Begetter of the only-begotten Son. We have also as a Physician the Lord our God, Jesus the Christ, the only-begotten Son and Word, before time began, but who afterwards became also man, of Mary the virgin. For "the Word was made flesh." Being incorporeal, He was in the body; being impassible, He was in a passible body; being immortal, He was in a mortal body; being life, He became subject to corruption, that He might free our souls from death and corruption, and heal them, and might restore them to health, when they were diseased with ungodliness and wicked lusts. (long version)

The Epistle of Ignatius to the Ephesians, Chap. VII

(God/ignatius)

***

But the Holy Spirit does not speak his own things, but those of Christ, and that not from himself, but from the Lord; even as the Lord also announced to us the things that He received from the Father. For, says He, "the word which ye hear is not Mine, but the Father's, who sent Me." And says He of the Holy Spirit, "He shall not speak of Himself, but whatsoever things He shall hear from Me." And He says of Himself to the Father, "I have," says He, "glorified Thee upon the earth; I have finished the work which Thou gavest Me; I have manifested Thy name to men." And of the Holy Ghost, "He shall glorify Me, for He receives of Mine." (long version)

The Epistle of Ignatius to the Ephesians, Chap. IX

(ignatius/trinity)

***

Men "believe with the heart, and confess with the mouth," the one "unto righteousness," the other "unto salvation." It is good to teach, if he who speaks also acts. For he who shall both "do and teach, the same shall be great in the kingdom." ... Our Lord and God, Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God, first did and then taught, as Luke testifies, "whose praise is in the Gospel through all the Churches." (long version)

The Epistle of Ignatius to the Ephesians, Chap. XV

(ignatius/God)

***

For our God, Jesus Christ, was according to the appointment of God, conceived in the womb by Mary, of the seed of David, but by the Holy Ghost. (short version)

The Epistle of Ignatius to the Ephesians, Chap. XVIII

(ignatius/God)

***

Hence every kind of magic was destroyed, and every bond of wickedness disappeared; ignorance was removed, and the old kingdom abolished, God Himself being manifested in human form for the renewal of eternal life. (short version)

Every law of wickedness vanished away; the darkness of ignorance was dispersed; and tyrannical authority was destroyed, God being manifested as a man, and man displaying power as God. (long version)

The Epistle of Ignatius to the Ephesians, Chap. XIX

(ignatius/God)

***

Let us therefore no longer keep the Sabbath after the Jewish manner, and rejoice in days of idleness; for "he that does not work, let him not eat." For say the [holy] oracles, "In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat thy bread." But let every one of you keep the Sabbath after a spiritual manner, rejoicing in meditation on the law, not in relaxation of the body, admiring the workmanship of God, and not eating things prepared the day before, nor using lukewarm drinks, and walking within a prescribed space, nor finding delight in dancing and plaudits which have no sense in them. And after the observance of the Sabbath, let every friend of Christ keep the Lord's Day as a festival, the resurrection day, the queen and chief of all the days [of the week]. (long version)

The Epistle of Ignatius to the Magnesians, Chap. IX

(ignatius/sabbath)

***

Let us therefore prove ourselves worthy of that name which we have received. For whosoever is called by any other name besides this, he is not of God; for he has not received the prophecy which speaks thus concerning us: "The people shall be called by a new name, which the Lord shall name them, and shall be a holy people." This was first fulfilled in Syria; for "the disciples were called Christians at Antioch," when Paul and Peter were laying the foundations of the Church. (long version)

The Epistle of Ignatius to the Magnesians, Chap. X

(ignatius/christians)

***

Study, therefore, to be established in the doctrines of the Lord and the apostles, that so all things, whatsoever ye do, may prosper both in the flesh and spirit; in faith and love; in the Son, and in the Father, and in the Spirit; in the beginning and in the end; with your most admirable bishop, and the well-compacted spiritual crown of your presbytery, and the deacons who are according to God. Be ye subject to the bishop, and to one another, as Jesus Christ to the Father, according to the flesh, and the apostles to Christ, and to the Father, and to the Spirit; that so there may be a union both fleshly and spiritual. (short version)

The Epistle of Ignatius to the Magnesians, Chap. XIII

(ignatius/trinity)

***

For they alienate Christ from the Father, and the law from Christ. They also calumniate His being born of the Virgin; they are ashamed of His cross; they deny His passion; and they do not believe His resurrection. They introduce God as a Being unknown; they suppose Christ to be unbegotten; and as to the Spirit, they do not admit that He exists. Some of them say that the Son is a mere man, and that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are but the same person, and that the creation is the work of God, not by Christ, but by some other strange power.

The Epistle of Ignatius to the Magnesians, chap.VI

*trinity/Ignatius)

***

Be on your guard your guard, therefore, against such persons. And this will be the case with you if you are not puffed up, and continue in intimate union with Jesus Christ our God, and the bishop, and the enactments of the apostles. (short version)

The Epistle of Ignatius to the Trallians, Chap. VII

(ignatius/God)

***

Mary then did truly conceive a body which had God inhabiting it. And God the Word was truly born of the Virgin, having clothed Himself with a body of like passions with our own. He who forms all men in the womb, was Himself really in the womb, and made for Himself a body of the seed of the Virgin, but without any intercourse of man. (long version)

The Epistle of Ignatius to the Trallians, Chap. X

(ignatius/God)

***

Ignatius, who is also called Theophorus, to the Church which has obtained mercy, through the majesty of the Most High Father, and Jesus Christ, His only-begotten Son; the Church which is beloved and enlightened by the will of Him that willeth all things which are according to the love of Jesus Christ our God, which also presides in the place of the region of the Romans, worthy of God, worthy of honour, worthy of the highest happiness, worthy of praise, worthy of obtaining her every desire, worthy of being deemed holy, and which presides over love, is named from Christ, and from the Father, which I also salute in the name of Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father: to those who are united, both according to the flesh and spirit, to every one of His commandments; who are filled inseparably with the grace of God, and are purified from every strange taint, [I wish] abundance of happiness unblameably, in Jesus Christ our God. (short version)

The Epistle of Ignatius to the Romans (Introduction)

(Ignatius/God)

***

Ignatius who is also called Theophorus, to the Church which has obtained mercy, through the majesty of the Most High God the Father, and of Jesus Christ, His only-begotten Son; the Church which is sanctified and enlightened by the will of God, who formed all things that are according to the faith and love of Jesus Christ, our God and Saviour; the Church which presides in the place of the region of the Romans, and which is worthy of God, worthy of honour, worthy of the highest happiness, worthy of praise, worthy of credit, worthy of being deemed holy, and which presides over love, is named from Christ, and from the Father, and is possessed of the Spirit, which I also salute in the name of Almighty God, and of Jesus Christ His Son: to those who are united, both according to the flesh and spirit, to every one of His commandments, who are filled inseparably with all the grace of God, and are purified from every strange taint, [I wish] abundance of happiness unblameably, in God, even the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ. (long version)

The Epistle of Ignatius to the Romans (Introduction)

(God/Ignatius)

***

Since, also, there is but one unbegotten Being, God, even the Father; and one only-begotten Son, God, the Word and man; and one Comforter, the Spirit of truth; and also one preaching, and one faith and one baptism; and one Church which the holy apostles established from one end of the earth to the other by the blood of Christ... (long version)

The Epistle of Ignatius to the Philadelphians, Chap. IV

(trinity/God/Ignatius)

***

If any one says there is one God, and also confesses Christ Jesus, but thinks the Lord to be a mere man, and not the only-begotten God and Wisdom, and the Word of God, and deems Him to consist merely of a soul and body, such an one is a serpent, that preaches deceit and error for the destruction of men...If any one confesses the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost, and praises the creation, but calls the incarnation merely an appearance, and is ashamed of the passion, such an one has denied the faith, not less than the Jews who killed Christ. If any one confesses these things, and that God the Word did dwell in a human body, being within it as the Word, even as the soul also is in the body, because it was God that inhabited it, and not a human soul, but affirms that unlawful unions are a good thing, and places the highest happiness in pleasure, as does the man who is falsely called a Nicolaitan, this person can neither be a lover of God, nor a lover of Christ, but is a corrupter of his own flesh, and therefore void of the Holy Spirit, and a stranger to Christ. (long version)

The Epistle of Ignatius to the Philadelphians, Chap. VI

(trinity/God/Ignatius)

***

I glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who by Him has given you such wisdom. For I have observed that ye are perfected in an immovable faith, as if ye were nailed to the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, both in the flesh and in the spirit, and are established in love through the blood of Christ, being fully persuaded, in very truth, with respect to our Lord Jesus Christ, that He was the Son of God, "the firstborn of every creature," God the Word, the only-begotten Son, and was of the seed of David according to the flesh. (long version)

The Epistle of Ignatius to the Smyrnaeans, Chap. I

(God/Ignatius)

*** Now, He suffered all these things for our sakes, that we might be saved. And He suffered truly, even as also He truly raised up himself, not as certain unbelievers maintain, that He only seemed to suffer, as they themselves only seem to be [Christians]. And as they believe, so shall it happen unto them, when they shall be divested of their bodies, and be mere evil spirits. (short version)

The Epistle of Ignatius to the Smyrnaeans, Chap. II

(Ignatius/Gnostic)

***

And I know that He was possessed of a body not only in His being born and crucified, but I also know that He was so after His resurrection, and believe that He is so now. When, for instance, He came to those who were with Peter, He said to them, "Lay hold, handle Me, and see that I am not an incorporeal spirit." "For a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see Me have." And He says to Thomas, "Reach hither thy finger into the print of the nails, and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into My side;" and immediately they believed that He was Christ. Wherefore Thomas also says to Him, "My Lord, and my God." And on this account also did they despise death, for it were too little to say, indignities and stripes. Nor was this all; but also after He had shown Himself to them, that He had risen indeed, and not in appearance only, He both ate and drank with them during forty entire days. And thus was He, with the flesh, received up in their sight unto Him that sent Him, being with that same flesh to come again, accompanied by glory and power. For, say the [holy] oracles, "This same Jesus, who is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come, in like manner as ye have seen Him go unto heaven." But if they say that He will come at the end of the world without a body, how shall those "see Him that pierced Him," and when they recognize Him, "mourn for themselves?" (long version)

The Epistle of Ignatius to the Smyrnaeans, Chap. III

(Ignatius/God/resurrection)

***

For what does it profit, if any one commends me, but blasphemes my Lord, not owning Him to be God incarnate? He that does not confess this, has in fact altogether denied Him, being enveloped in death. (long version)

The Epistle of Ignatius to the Smyrnaeans, Chap. V

(Ignatius/God)

***

INTRODUCTORY NOTE TO THE FIRST APOLOGY OF JUSTIN MARTYR

[A.D. 110-165.] Justin was a Gentile, but born in Samaria, near Jacob's well. He must have been well educated: he traveled extensively, and he seems to have been a person enjoying at least a competence. After trying all other systems, his elevated tastes and refined perceptions made him a disciple of Socrates and Plato. So he climbed towards Christ. As he himself narrates the story of his conversion, it need not be anticipated here. What Plato was feeling after, he found in Jesus of Nazareth. The conversion of such a man marks a new era in the gospel history. The sub-apostolic age begins with the first Christian author,the founder of theological literature. It introduced to mankind, as the mother of true philosophy, the despised teaching of those Galileans to whom their Master had said, "Ye are the light of the world."

And this is the epoch which forced this great truth upon the attention of contemplative minds...He tells the professional philosophers on a throne how false and hollow is all wisdom that is not meant for all humanity, and that is not capable of leavening the masses. He exposes the impotency of even Socratic philosophy: he shows, in contrast, the force that works in the words of Jesus; he points out their regenerating power. It is the mission of Justin to be a star in the West, leading its Wise Men to the cradle of Bethlehem....The practical wisdom of Justin using the rhetoric of his time and discomfiting false philosophy with its own weapons, is not appreciated by the fastidious Parisian....above all, the undaunted spirit with which he exposes the shame and absurdity of their inveterate superstition and reproaches the memory of Hadrian whom Antoninus had deified, as he had deified Antinous of loathsome history, these are characteristics which every instinct of the unvitiated soul delights to honour. Justin cannot be refuted by a sneer. He wore his philosopher's gown after his conversion, as a token that he had attained the only true philosophy. And seeing, that, after the conflicts and tests of ages, it is the only philosophy that lasts and lives and triumphs, its discoverer deserves the homage of mankind. Of the philosophic gown we shall hear again when we come to Tertullian...

Before his conversion to Christianity he studied in the schools of the philosophers, searching after some knowledge which should satisfy the cravings of his soul. At last he became acquainted with Christianity, being at once impressed with the extraordinary fearlessness which the Christians displayed in the presence of death, and with the grandeur, stability, and truth of the teachings of the Old Testament. From this time he acted as an evangelist, taking every opportunity to proclaim the gospel as the only safe and certain philosophy, the only way to salvation. It is probable that he traveled much. We know that he was some time in Ephesus, and he must have lived for a considerable period in Rome. Probably he settled in Rome as a Christian teacher. While he was there, the philosophers, especially the Cynics, plotted against him, and he sealed his testimony to the truth by martyrdom...

The writings of Justin Martyr are among the most important that have come down to us from the second century. He was not the first that wrote an Apology in behalf of the Christians, but his Apologies are the earliest extant. They are characterized by intense Christian fervour, and they give us an insight into the relations existing between heathens and Christians in those days. His other principal writing, the Dialogue with Trypho, is the first elaborate exposition of the reasons for regarding Christ as the Messiah of the Old Testament, and the first systematic attempt to exhibit the false position of the Jews in regard to Christianity...

The first class embraces those which are unquestionably genuine, viz. the two Apologies, and the Dialogue with Trypho...

The second class consists of those works which are regarded by some critics as Justin's, and by others as not his...Whatever difficulty there may be in settling the authorship of these treatises, there is but one opinion as to their earliness. The latest of them, in all probability, was not written later than the third century.

Introductory Note to the First Apology of Justin Martyr

(Justin/theology)

***

...and we say that the same thing will be done, but at the hand of Christ, and upon the wicked in the same bodies united again to their spirits which are now to undergo everlasting punishment; and not only, as Plato said, for a period of a thousand years. And if any one say that this is incredible or impossible, this error of ours is one which concerns ourselves only, and no other person, so long as you cannot convict us of doing any harm.

The First Apology of Justin, Chap. VIII

(punishment/Justin)

***

Our teacher of these things is Jesus Christ, who also was born for this purpose, and was crucified under Pontius Pilate, procurator of Judaea, in the times of Tiberius Caesar; and that we reasonably worship Him, having learned that He is the Son of the true God Himself, and holding Him in the second place, and the prophetic Spirit in the third, we will prove.

The First Apology of Justin, Chap. XIII

(God/trinity/Justin)

***

...since we expect to receive again our own bodies, though they be dead and cast into the earth, for we maintain that with God nothing is impossible.

The First Apology of Justin, Chap. XVIII

(resurrection/Justin)

***

And hell is a place where those are to be punished who have lived wickedly, and who do not believe that those things which God has taught us by Christ will come to pass.

The First Apology of Justin, Chap. XIX

(punishment/Justin)

***

...while we affirm that the souls of the wicked, being endowed with sensation even after death, are punished, and that those of the good being delivered from punishment spend a blessed existence, we shall seem to say the same things as the poets and philosophers.

The First Apology of Justin, Chap. XX

(punishment/Justin)

***

And if we assert that the Word of God was born of God in a peculiar manner, different from ordinary generation, let this, as said above, be no extraordinary thing to you, who say that Mercury is the angelic word of God.

The First Apology of Justin, Chap. XXII

(God/Justin)

***

For among us the prince of the wicked spirits is called the serpent, and Satan, and the devil, as you can learn by looking into our writings. And that he would be sent into the fire with his host, and the men who follow him, and would be punished for an endless duration, Christ foretold.

The First Apology of Justin, Chap. XXVIII

(punishment/Justin)

***

But in no instance, not even in any of those called sons of Jupiter, did they imitate the being crucified; for it was not understood by them, all the things said of it having been put symbolically. And this, as the prophet foretold, is the greatest symbol of His power and rule; as is also proved by the things which fall under our observation. For consider all the things in the world, whether without this form they could be administered or have any community. For the sea is not traversed except that trophy which is called a sail abide safe in the ship; and the earth is not ploughed without it: diggers and mechanics do not their work, except with tools which have this shape. And the human form differs from that of the irrational animals in nothing else than in its being erect and having the hands extended, and having on the face extending from the forehead what is called the nose, through which there is respiration for the living creature; and this shows no other form than that of the cross.

The First Apology of Justin, Chap. LV

(cross/Justin)

***

Nor can the devils persuade men that there will be no conflagration for the punishment of the wicked; as they were unable to effect that Christ should be hidden after He came....But if they believe that there is nothing after death, but declare that those who die pass into insensibility, then they become our benefactors when they set us free from sufferings and necessities of this life, and prove themselves to be wicked, and inhuman, and bigoted. For they kill us with no intention of delivering us, but cut us off that we may be deprived of life and pleasure.

The First Apology of Justin, Chap. LVII

(punishment/Justin)

***

...Moses, by the inspiration and influence of God, took brass, and made it into the figure of a cross, and set it in the holy tabernacle, and said to the people, "If ye look to this figure, and believe, ye shall be saved thereby." And when this was done, it is recorded that the serpents died, and it is handed down that the people thus escaped death. Which things Plato reading, and not accurately understanding, and not apprehending that it was the figure of the cross, but taking it to be a placing crosswise, he said that the power next to the first God was placed crosswise in the universe. And as to his speaking of a third, he did this because he read, as we said above, that which was spoken by Moses, "that the Spirit of God moved over the waters." For he gives the second place to the Logos which is with God, who he said was placed crosswise in the universe; and the third place to the Spirit who was said to be borne upon the water, saying, "And the third around the third." And hear how the Spirit of prophecy signified through Moses that there should be a conflagration. He spoke thus: "Everlasting fire shall descend, and shall devour to the pit beneath." It is not, then, that we hold the same opinions as others, but that all speak in imitation of ours.

The First Apology of Justin, Chap. LX

(cross/Justin)

***

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.

The First Apology of Justin, Chap. LXI

(trinity/Justin)

***

The Jews, accordingly, being throughout of opinion that it was the Father of the universe who spake to Moses, though He who spake to him was indeed the Son of God, who is called both Angel and Apostle, are justly charged, both by the Spirit of prophecy and by Christ Himself, with knowing neither the Father nor the Son. For they who affirm that the Son is the Father, are proved neither to have become acquainted with the Father, nor to know that the Father of the universe has a Son; who also, being the first-begotten Word of God, is even God.

The First Apology of Justin, Chap. LXIII

(God/angel/Justin)

***

There is then brought to the president of the brethren bread and a cup of wine mixed with water; and he taking them, gives praise and glory to the Father of the universe, through the name of the Son and of the Holy Ghost...

The First Apology of Justin, Chap. LXV

(trinity/Justin)

***

And we afterwards continually remind each other of these things. And the wealthy among us help the needy; and we always keep together; and for all things wherewith we are supplied, we bless the Maker of all through His Son, Jesus Christ, and through the Holy Ghost. And on the day called Sunday,all who live in cities or in the country gather together to one place, and the memoirs of the apostles or the writings of the prophets are read, as long as time permits; then, when the reader has ceased, the president verbally instructs, and exhorts to the imitation of these good things....But Sunday is the day on which we all hold our common assembly, because it is the first day on which God, having wrought a change in the darkness and matter, made the world; and Jesus Christ our Saviour on the same day rose from the dead. For He was crucified on the day before that of Saturn (Saturday); and on the day after that of Saturn, which is the day of the Sun, having appeared to His apostles and disciples, He taught them these things, which we have submitted to you also for your consideration.

The First Apology of Justin, Chap. LXVII

(sabbath/trinity/Justin)

***

...the unjust and intemperate shall be punished in eternal fire.

The Second Apology of Justin For The Christians Addressed to the Roman Senate, Chap. I

(punishment/Justin)

***

...assuring him that there shall be punishment in eternal fire inflicted upon those who do not live temperately and conformably to right reason.

The Second Apology of Justin for the Christians Addressed to the Roman Senate, Chap. II

(punishment/Justin)

***

But the angels transgressed this appointment, and were captivated by love of women, and begat children who are those that are called demons; and besides, they afterwards subdued the human race to themselves...

The Second Apology of Justin for the Christians Addressed to the Roman Senate, Chap. V

(angel/demons/Justin)

***

But to the Father of all, who is unbegotten, there is no name given.

The Second Apology of Justin for the Christians Addressed to the Roman Senate, Chap. VI

(YHWH/Justin)

***

But since God in the beginning made the race of angels and men with freewill, they will justly suffer in eternal fire the punishment of whatever sins they have committed. And this is the nature of all that is made, to be capable of vice and virtue. For neither would any of them be praiseworthy unless there were power to turn to both [virtue and vice].

The Second Apology of Justin for the Christians Addressed to the Roman Senate, Chap. VII

(demons/Justin)

***

And they, having been shut up in eternal fire, shall suffer their just punishment and penalty. For if they are even now overthrown by men through the name of Jesus Christ, this is an intimation of the punishment in eternal fire which is to be inflicted on themselves and those who serve them. For thus did both all the prophets foretell, and our own teacher Jesus teach.

The Second Apology of Justin for the Christians Addressed to the Roman Senate, Chap. VIII

(demons/punishment/Justin)

***

And that no one may say what is said by those who are deemed philosophers, that our assertions that the wicked are punished in eternal fire are big words and bugbears, and that we wish men to live virtuously through fear, and not because such a life is good and pleasant; I will briefly reply to this, that if this be not so, God does not exist; or, if He exists, He cares not for men, and neither virtue nor vice is anything, and as we said before, lawgivers unjustly punish those who transgress good commandments.

The Second Apology of Justin for the Christians Addressed to the Roman Senate, Chap. IX

(punishment/Justin)

***

"Trypho," says he, "I am called; and I am a Hebrew of the circumcision,....They affirm that the same things shall always happen; and, further, that I and you shall again live in like manner, having become neither better men nor worse. But there are some others, who, having supposed the soul to be immortal and immaterial, believe that though they have committed evil they will not suffer punishment (for that which is immaterial is insensible), and that the soul, in consequence of its immortality, needs nothing from God."

Dialogue of Justin, Philosopher and Martyr, with Trypho, A Jew, Chap. I

(soul/punishment/Justin)

***

"I will tell you," said I, "what seems to me; for philosophy is, in fact, the greatest possession, and most honorable before God, to whom it leads us and alone commends us; and these are truly holy men who have bestowed attention on philosophy....It has happened that those who first handled it [i.e., philosophy], and who were therefore esteemed illustrious men, were succeeded by those who made no investigations concerning truth, but only admired the perseverance and self-discipline of the former, as well as the novelty of the doctrines; and each thought that to be true which he learned from his teacher; then, moreover, those latter persons handed down to their successors such things, and others similar to them; and this system was called by the name of him who was styled the father of the doctrine.

Dialogue of Justin, Philosopher and Martyr, with Trypho, A Jew, Chap. II

(theology/Justin)

***

"'What greater work,' said I, 'could one accomplish than this, to show the reason which governs all, and having laid hold of it, and being mounted upon it, to look down on the errors of others, and their pursuits?....Wherefore it is necessary for every man to philosophize, and to esteem this the greatest and most honorable work; but other things only of second-rate or third-rate importance, though, indeed, if they be made to depend on philosophy, they are of moderate value, and worthy of acceptance; but deprived of it, and not accompanying it, they are vulgar and coarse to those who pursue them.'....

"'Philosophy, then,' said I, 'is the knowledge of that which really exists, and a clear perception of the truth; and happiness is the reward of such knowledge and wisdom.'

Dialogue of Justin, Philosopher and Martyr, with Trypho, A Jew, Chap. III

(theology/Justin)

***

"'And what do those suffer who are judged to be unworthy of this spectacle?' said he.

"'They are imprisoned in the bodies of certain wild beasts, and this is their punishment.'

"'Do they know, then, that it is for this reason they are in such forms, and that they have committed some sin?'

"'I do not think so.'

"'Then these reap no advantage from their punishment, as it seems: moreover, I would say that they are not punished unless they are conscious of the punishment.'

"'No indeed.'

"'Therefore souls neither see God nor transmigrate into other bodies; for they would know that so they are punished, and they would be afraid to commit even the most trivial sin afterwards. But that they can perceive that God exists, and that righteousness and piety are honorable, I also quite agree with you,' said he.

"'You are right,' I replied.

Dialogue of Justin, Philosopher and Martyr, with Trypho, a Jew, Chap. IV

(souls/Justin)

***

"'Nor ought it to be called immortal; for if it is immortal, it is plainly unbegotten.'...

But if the world is begotten, souls also are necessarily begotten; and perhaps at one time they were not in existence, for they were made on account of men and other living creatures, if you will say that they have been begotten wholly apart, and not along with their respective bodies.'

"'This seems to be correct.'

"'They are not, then, immortal?'

"'No; since the world has appeared to us to be begotten.'

Dialogue of Justin, Philosopher and Martyr with Trypho, a Jew, Chap. V

(souls/Justin)

***

The soul assuredly is or has life. If, then, it is life, it would cause something else, and not itself, to live, even as motion would move something else than itself. Now, that the soul lives, no one would deny. But if it lives, it lives not as being life, but as the partaker of life; but that which partakes of anything, is different from that of which it does partake. Now the soul partakes of life, since God wills it to live. Thus, then, it will not even partake [of life] when God does not will it to live. For to live is not its attribute, as it is God's; but as a man does not live always, and the soul is not for ever conjoined with the body, since, whenever this harmony must be broken up, the soul leaves the body, and the man exists no longer; even so, whenever the soul must cease to exist, the spirit of life is removed from it, and there is no more soul, but it goes back to the place from whence it was taken.'

Dialogue of Justin, Philosopher and Martyr with Trypho, A Jew, Chap. VI

(soul/Justin)

***

"Is there any other matter, my friends, in which we are blamed, than this, that we live not after the law, and are not circumcised in the flesh as your forefathers were, and do not observe sabbaths as you do?....But this is what we are most at a loss about: that you, professing to be pious, and supposing yourselves better than others, are not in any particular separated from them, and do not alter your mode of living from the nations, in that you observe no festivals or sabbaths, and do not have the rite of circumcision; and further, resting your hopes on a man that was crucified, you yet expect to obtain some good thing from God, while you do not obey His commandments....If, therefore, you can defend yourself on these points, and make it manifest in what way you hope for anything whatsoever, even though you do not observe the law, this we would very gladly hear from you, and we shall make other similar investigations."

Dialogue of Justin, Philosopher and Martyr with Trypho, A Jew, Chap. X

(christians/sabbath/Justin)

***

Now, law placed against law has abrogated that which is before it, and a covenant which comes after in like manner has put an end to the previous one; and an eternal, and final law - namely Christ has been given to us, and the covenant is trustworthy, after which there shall be no law, no commandment, no ordinance.

Dialogue of Justin, Philosopher and Martyr with Trypho, A Jew, Chap. XI

(law/sabbath/Justin)

***

The new law requires you to keep perpetual sabbath, and you, because you are idle for one day, suppose you are pious, not discerning why this has been commanded you: and if you eat unleavened bread, you say the will of God has been fulfilled.

Dialogue of Justin, Philosopher and Martyr with Trypho, A Jew, Chap. XII

(law/sabbath/Justin)

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For we too would observe the fleshly circumcision, and the Sabbaths, and in short all the feasts, if we did not know for what reason they were enjoined you,namely, on account of your transgressions and the hardness of your hearts. For if we patiently endure all things contrived against us by wicked men and demons, so that even amid cruelties unutterable, death and torments, we pray for mercy to those who inflict such things upon us, and do not wish to give the least retort to any one, even as the new Lawgiver commanded us: how is it, Trypho, that we would not observe those rites which do not harm us,I speak of fleshly circumcision, and Sabbaths, and feasts?

Dialogue of Justin, Philosopher and Martyr with Trypho, A Jew, Chap. XVIII

(law/sabbath/Justin)

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Moreover, all those righteous men already mentioned though they kept no Sabbaths, were pleasing to God; and after them Abraham with all his descendants until Moses, under whom your nation appeared unrighteous and ungrateful to God, making a calf in the wilderness: wherefore God, accommodating Himself to that nation, enjoined them also to offer sacrifices, as if to His name, in order that you might not serve idols. Which precept, however, you have not observed; nay, you sacrificed your children to demons. And you were commanded to keep Sabbaths, that might retain the memorial of God. For His word makes this announcement, saying, `That ye may know that I am God who redeemed you.'

Dialogue of Justin, Philosopher and Martyr with Trypho, A Jew, Chap. XIX

(sabbath/Justin)

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CHAP. XXI.SABBATHS WERE INSTITUTED ON ACCOUNT OF THE PEOPLE'S SINS, AND NOT FOR A WORK OF RIGHTEOUSNESS.

"Moreover, that God enjoined you to keep the Sabbath, and impose on you other precepts for a sign, as I have already said, on account of your unrighteousness, and that of your fathers,as He declares that for the sake of the nations, lest His name be profaned among them, therefore He permitted some of you to remain alive,these words of His can prove to you: they are narrated by Ezekiel thus: I am the Lord your God; walk in My statutes, and keep my judgments, and take no part in the customs of Egypt; and hallow my Sabbaths; and they shall be a sign between Me and you, that ye may know that I am the Lord your God.

Dialogue of Justin, Philosopher and Martyr with Trypho, A Jew, Chap. XXI

(law/sabbath/Justin)

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"But if we do not admit this, we shall be liable to fall into foolish opinions, as if it were not the same God who existed in the times of Enoch and all the rest, who neither were circumcised after the flesh, nor observed Sabbaths, nor any other rites, seeing that Moses enjoined such observances; or that God has not wished each race of mankind continually to perform the same righteous actions: to admit which, seems to be ridiculous and absurd. Therefore we must confess that He, who is ever the same, has commanded these and such like institutions on account of sinful men, and we must declare Him to be benevolent, foreknowing, needing nothing, righteous and good. But if this be not so, tell me, sir, what you think of those matters which we are investigating." And when no one responded: "Wherefore, Trypho, I will proclaim to you, and to those who wish to become proselytes, the divine message which I heard from that man. Do you see that the elements are not idle, and keep no Sabbaths? Remain as you were born. For if there was no need of circumcision before Abraham, or of the observance of Sabbaths, of feasts and sacrifices, before Moses; no more need is there of them now,...

Dialogue of Justin, Philosopher and Martyr with Trypho, A Jew, Chap. XXXIII

(law/sabbath/Justin)

***

For, tell me, did God wish the priests to sin when they offer the sacrifices on the Sabbaths? or those to sin, who are circumcised and do circumcise on the Sabbaths; since He commands that on the eighth day - even though it happen to be a Sabbath - those who are born shall be always circumcised? or could not the infants be operated upon one day previous or one day subsequent to the Sabbath, if He knew that it is a sinful act upon the Sabbaths? Or why did He not teach those who are called righteous and pleasing to Him, who lived before Moses and Abraham, who were not circumcised in their foreskin, and observed no Sabbaths to keep these institutions?"

Dialogue of Justin, Philosopher and Martyr with Trypho, A Jew, Chap. XXVII

(law/sabbath/Justin)

***

Be not offended at, or reproach us with, the bodily uncircumcision with which God has created us; and think it not strange that we drink hot water on the Sabbaths, since God directs the government of the universe on this day equally as on all others; and the priests, as on other days, so on this, are ordered to offer sacrifices; and there are so many righteous men who have performed none of these legal ceremonies, and yet are witnessed to by God Himself.

Dialogue of Justin, Philosopher and Martyr with Trypho, A Jew, Chap. XXIX

(sabbath/Justin)

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(For some in one way, others in another, teach to blaspheme the Maker of all things, and Christ, who was foretold by Him as coming, and the God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, with whom we have nothing in common, since we know them to be atheists, impious, unrighteous, and sinful, and confessors of Jesus in name only, instead of worshippers of Him. Yet they style themselves Christians, just as certain among the Gentiles inscribe the name of God upon the works of their own hands, and partake in nefarious and impious rites.) Some are called Marcians, and some Valentinians, and some Basilidians, and some Saturnilians, and others by other names; each called after the originator of the individual opinion, just as each one of those who consider themselves philosophers, as I said before, thinks he must bear the name of the philosophy which he follows, from the name of the father of the particular doctrine.

Dialogue of Justin, Philosopher and Martyr with Trypho, A Jew, Chap. XXXV

(apostates/Justin)

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And I said, "As you wish, Trypho, I shall come to these proofs which you seek in the fitting place; but now you will permit me first to recount the prophecies, which I wish to do in order to prove that Christ is called both God and Lord of hosts.

Dialogue of Justin, Philosopher and Martyr with Trypho, A Jew, Chap. XXXVI

(God/Justin)

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And the Holy Spirit, either from the person of His Father, or from His own person, answers them, `The Lord of hosts, He is this King of glory.'

Dialogue of Justin, Philosopher and Martyr with Trypho, A Jew, Chap. XXXVI

(trinity/Justin)

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For the lamb, which is roasted, is roasted and dressed up in the form of the cross. For one spit is transfixed right through from the lower parts up to the head, and one across the back, to which are attached the legs of the lamb. And the two goats which were ordered to be offered during the fast, of which one was sent away as the scape [goat], and the other sacrificed, were similarly declarative of the two appearances of Christ.

Dialogue of Justin, Philosopher and Martyr with Trypho, A Jew, Chap. XL

(cross/Justin)

***

The command of circumcision, again, bidding [them] always circumcise the children on the eighth day, was a type of the true circumcision, by which we are circumcised from deceit and iniquity through Him who rose from the dead on the first day after the Sabbath, [namely through] our Lord Jesus Christ. For the first day after the Sabbath, remaining the first of all the days, is called, however, the eighth, according to the number of all the days of the cycle, and [yet] remains the first.

Dialogue of Justin, Philosopher and Martyr with Trypho, A Jew, Chap. XLI

(sabbath/Justin)

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...when some are sent to be punished unceasingly into judgment and condemnation of fire; but others shall exist in freedom from suffering, from corruption, and from grief, and in immortality."

Dialogue of Justin, Philosopher and Martyr with Trypho, A Jew, Chap. XLV

(punishment/Justin)

***

But if some, through weak-mindedness, wish to observe such institutions as were given by Moses, from which they expect some virtue, but which we believe were appointed by reason of the hardness of the people's hearts, along with their hope in this Christ and [wish to perform] the eternal and natural acts of righteousness and piety, yet choose to live with the Christians and the faithful, as I said before, not inducing them either to be circumcised like themselves, or to keep the Sabbath, or to observe any other such ceremonies, then I hold that we ought to join ourselves to such, and associate with them in all things as kinsmen and brethren.

Dialogue of Justin, Philosopher and Martyr with Trypho, A Jew, Chap. XLVII

(law/sabbath/Justin)

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CHAP. XLVIII.BEFORE THE DIVINITY OF CHRIST IS PROVED, HE [TRYPHO] DEMANDS THAT IT BE SETTLED THAT HE IS CHRIST.

And Trypho said, "We have heard what you think of these matters. Resume the discourse where you left off, and bring it to an end. For some of it appears to me to be paradoxical, and wholly incapable of proof. For when you say that this Christ existed as God before the ages, then that He submitted to be born and become man, yet that He is not man of man, this [assertion] appears to be to be not merely paradoxical, but also foolish."

Dialogue of Justin, Philosopher and Martyr with Trypho, A Jew, Chap. XLVIII

(God/Justin)

***

Then I said, "The Scripture just quoted by me will make this plain to you. It is thus: 'The sun was risen on the earth, and Lot entered into Segor (Zoar); and the Lord rained on Sodom sulphur and fire from the Lord out of heaven, and overthrew these cities and all the neighborhood."

Then the fourth of those who had remained with Trypho said, "It must therefore necessarily be said that one of the two angels who went to Sodom, and is named by Moses in the Scripture Lord, is different from Him who also is God and appeared to Abraham.

"It is not on this ground solely," I said, "that it must be admitted absolutely that some other one is called Lord by the Holy Spirit besides Him who is considered Maker of all things; not solely [for what is said] by Moses, but also [for what is said] by David. For there is written by him: 'The Lord says to my Lord, Sit on My right hand, until I make Thine enemies Thy footstool,' as I have already quoted. And again, in other words: 'Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever. A scepter of equity is the scepter of Thy kingdom: Thou hast loved righteousness and hated iniquity: therefore God, even Thy God, hath anointed Thee with the oil of gladness above Thy fellows.' If, therefore, you assert that the Holy Spirit calls some other one God and Lord, besides the Father of all things and His Christ, answer me; for I undertake to prove to you from Scriptures themselves, that He whom the Scripture calls Lord is not one of the two angels that went to Sodom, but He who was with them, and is called God, that appeared to Abraham.

Dialogue of Justin, Philosopher and Martyr with Trypho, A Jew, Chap. LVI

(God/Justin)

***

When I had spoken these words, I continued: "Permit me, further, to show you from the book of Exodus who this same One, who is both Angel, and God, and Lord, and man, and who appeared in human form to Abraham and Isaac,...

Dialogue of Justin, philosopher and Martyr, with Trypho, A Jew, Chap. LIX

(God/Justin)

***

I shall give you another testimony, my friends," said I, "from the Scriptures, that God begat before all creatures a Beginning. [who was] a certain rational power [proceeding] from Himself, who is called by the Holy Spirit, now the Glory of the Lord, now the Son, again Wisdom, again an Angel, then God, and then Lord and Logos; and on another occasion He calls Himself Captain, when He appeared in human form to Joshua, the son of Nave (Nun). For He can be called by all those names, since He ministers to the Father's will, and since He was begotten of the Father by an act of will; just as we see happening among ourselves: for when we give out some word, we beget the word; yet not by abscission, so as to lessen the word [which remains] in us, when we give it out: and just as we see also happening in the case of a fire, which is not lessened when it has kindled [another], but remains the same; and that which has been kindled by it likewise appears to exist by itself, not diminishing that from which it was kindled. The Word of Wisdom, who is Himself this God begotten of the Father of all things, and Word, and Wisdom and Power, and the Glory of the Begetter, will bear evidence to me, when He speaks by Solomon the following: 'If I shall declare to you what happens daily, I shall call to mind events from everlasting, and review them. The Lord made me the beginning of His ways for His works. From everlasting He established me in the beginning, before He had made the earth, and before He had made the deeps, before the springs of the waters had issued forth, before the mountains had been established. Before all the hills He begets me. God made the country, and the desert, and the highest inhabited places under the sky. When He made ready the heavens, I was along with Him, and when He set up His throne on the winds: when He made the high clouds strong, and the springs of the deep safe, when He made the foundations of the earth, I was with Him arranging. I was that in which He rejoiced; daily and at all times I delighted in His countenance, because He delighted in the finishing of the habitable world, and delighted in the sons of men. Now, therefore, O son, hear me. Blessed is the man who shall listen to me, and the mortal who shall keep my ways, watching daily at my doors, observing the posts of my ingoings. For my outgoings are the outgoings of life, and [my] will has been prepared by the Lord. But they who sin against me, trespass against their own souls; and they who hate me love death.'

Dialogue of Justin, Philosopher and Martyr, with Trypho, A Jew, Chap. LXI

(God/begotten/Justin)

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But though you exorcise any demon in the name of any of those who were amongst you - either kings, or righteous men, or prophets, or patriarchs - it will not be subject to you. But if any of you exorcise it in [the name of] the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, it will perhaps be subject to you. Now assuredly your exorcists, I have said, make use of craft when they exorcise, even as the Gentiles do, and employ fumigations and incantations.

Dialogue of Justin, Philosopher and Martyr, with Trypho, A Jew, Chap. LXXXV

(demons/Justin)

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...we find it recorded in the memoirs of His apostles that He is the Son of God, and since we call Him the Son, we have understood that He proceeded before all creatures from the Father by His power and will (for He is addressed in the writings of the prophets in one way or another as Wisdom, and the Day, and the East, and a Sword, and a Stone, and a Rod, and Jacob, and Israel); and that He became man by the Virgin, in order that the disobedience which proceeded from the serpent might receive its destruction in the same manner in which it derived its origin.

Dialogue of Justin, Philosopher and Martyr, with Trypho, A Jew, Chap. C

(God/Justin)

*** For I have already proved that He was the only-begotten of the Father of all things, being begotten in a peculiar manner Word and Power by Him, and having afterwards become man through the Virgin, as we have learned from the memoirs.

Dialogue of Justin, Philosopher and Martyr, with Trypho, A Jew, Chap. CV

(God/begotten/Justin)

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And that the souls survive, I have shown to you from the fact that the soul of Samuel was called up by the witch, as Saul demanded.

Dialogue of Justin, Philosopher and Martyr, with Trypho, A Jew, Chap. CV

(soul/Justin)

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"But if you knew, Trypho," continued I, "who He is that is called at one time the Angel of great counsel, and a Man by Ezekiel, and like the Son of man by Daniel, and a Child by Isaiah, and Christ and God to be worshipped by David, and Christ and a Stone by many, and Wisdom by Solomon, and Joseph and Judah and a Star by Moses, and the East by Zechariah, and the Suffering One and Jacob and Israel by Isaiah again, and a Rod, and Flower, and CornerStone, and Son of God, you would not have blasphemed Him who has now come, and been born, and suffered, and ascended to heaven; who shall also come again, and then your twelve tribes shall mourn. For if you had understood what has been written by the prophets, you would not have denied that He was God, Son of the only, unbegotten, unutterable God. For Moses says somewhere in Exodus the following: 'The Lord spake to Moses, and said to him, I am the Lord, and I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, being their God; and my name I revealed not to them, and I established my covenant with them.' And thus again he says, 'A man wrestled with Jacob,' and asserts it was God; narrating that Jacob said, 'I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.'

Dialogue of Justin, Philosopher and Martyr, with Trypho, A Jew, Chap. CXXVI

(God/Justin)

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And that Christ would act so when He became man was foretold by the mystery of Jacob's wrestling with Him who appeared to him, in that He ministered to the will of the Father, yet nevertheless is God, in that He is the first-begotten of all creatures.

Dialogue of Justin, Philosopher and Martyr, with Trypho, A Jew, Chap. CXXV

(God/begotten/Justin)

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...you must not imagine that the unbegotten God Himself came down or went up from any place. For the ineffable Father and Lord of all neither has come to any place, nor walks, nor sleeps, nor rises up, but remains in His own place, wherever that is, quick to behold and quick to hear, having neither eyes nor ears, but being of indescribable might; and He sees all things, and knows all things, and none of us escapes His observation; and He is not moved or confined to a spot in the whole world, for He existed before the world was made.

Dialogue of Justin, Philosopher and Martyr, with Trypho, A Jew, Chap. CXXVII

(omniscience/Justin)

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"And that Christ being Lord, and God the Son of God, and appearing formerly in power as Man, and Angel, and in the glory of fire as at the bush, so also was manifested at the judgment executed on Sodom, has been demonstrated fully by what has been said." Then I repeated once more all that I had previously quoted from Exodus, about the vision in the bush, and the naming of Joshua (Jesus), and continued: "And do not suppose, sirs, that I am speaking superfluously when I repeat these words frequently: but it is because I know that some wish to anticipate these remarks, and to say that the power sent from the Father of all which appeared to Moses, or to Abraham, or to Jacob, is called an Angel because He came to men (for by Him the commands of the Father have been proclaimed to men); is called Glory, because He appears in a vision sometimes that cannot be borne; is called a Man, and a human being, because He appears arrayed in such forms as the Father pleases; and they call Him the Word, because He carries tidings from the Father to men: but maintain that this power is indivisible and inseparable from the Father, just as they say that the light of the sun on earth is indivisible and inseparable from the sun in the heavens; as when it sinks, the light sinks along with it; so the Father, when He chooses, say they, causes His power to spring forth, and when He chooses, He makes it return to Himself. In this way, they teach, He made the angels. But it is proved that there are angels who always exist, and are never reduced to that form out of which they sprang. And that this power which the prophetic word calls God, as has been also amply demonstrated, and Angel, is not numbered [as different] in name only like the light of the sun, but is indeed something numerically distinct, I have discussed briefly in what has gone before; when I asserted that this power was begotten from the Father, by His power and will, but not by abscission, as if the essence of the Father were divided; as all other things partitioned and divided are not the same after as before they were divided: and, for the sake of example, I took the case of fires kindled from a fire, which we see to be distinct from it, and yet that from which many can be kindled is by no means made less, but remains the same.

Dialogue of Justin, Philosopher and Martyr, With Trypho, A Jew, Chap. CXXVIII

(trinity/God/Justin)

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Since therefore it is impossible to learn anything true concerning religion from your teachers, who by their mutual disagreement have furnished you with sufficient proof of their own ignorance, I consider it reasonable to recur to our progenitors, who both in point of time have by a great way the precedence of your teachers, and who have taught us nothing from their own private fancy, nor differed with one another, nor attempted to overturn one another's positions, but without wrangling and contention received from God the knowledge which also they taught to us. For neither by nature nor by human conception is it possible for men to know things so great and divine, but by the gift which then descended from above upon the holy men, who had no need of rhetorical art, nor of uttering anything in a contentious or quarrelsome manner, but to present themselves pure to the energy of the Divine Spirit, in order that the divine plectrum itself, descending from heaven, and using righteous men as an instrument like a harp or lyre, might reveal to us the knowledge of things divine and heavenly. Wherefore, as if with one mouth and one tongue, they have in succession, and in harmony with one another, taught us both concerning God, and the creation of the world, and the formation of man, and concerning the immortality of the human soul, and the judgment which is to be after this life, and concerning all things which it is needful for us to know, and thus in divers times and places have afforded us the divine instruction.

Justin's Hortatory Address To The Greeks, Chap. VIII

(Christians/theology/soul/church/Justin)

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For he spoke in these words: "Among the Jews they say that Moses ascribed his laws to that God who is called Jehovah.

Justin's Hortatory Address To The Greeks, Chap. IX

(YHWH)

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For God cannot be called by any proper name, for names are given to mark out and distinguish their subject matters, because these are many and diverse; but neither did any one exist before God who could give Him a name, nor did He Himself think it right to name Himself, seeing that He is one and unique, as He Himself also by His own prophets testifies, when He says, "I God am the first," and after this, "And beside me there is no other God." On this account, then, as I before said, God did not, when He sent Moses to the Hebrews, mention any name, but by a participle He mystically teaches them that He is the one and only God. "For," says He, "I am the Being;" manifestly contrasting Himself, "the Being," with those who are not,...

Justin's Hortatory Address To The Greeks, Chap. XX

(YHWH/Justin)

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Here Plato seems to me to have learnt from the prophets not only the doctrine of the judgment, but also of the resurrection, which the Greeks refuse to believe. For his saying that the soul is judged along with the body, proves nothing more clearly than that he believed the doctrine of the resurrection. Since how could Ardiaeus and the rest have undergone such punishment in Hades, had they left on earth the body, with its head, hands, feet and skin? For certainly they will never say that the soul has a head and hands, and feet and skin. But Plato, having fallen in with the testimonies of the prophets in Egypt, and having accepted what they teach concerning the resurrection of the body, teaches that the soul is judged in company with the body.

Justin's Hortatory Address To The Greeks, Chap. XXVII

(Plato/soul/resurrection/punishment/Justin)

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They who maintain the wrong opinion say that there is no resurrection of the flesh; giving as their reason that it is impossible that what is corrupted and dissolved should be restored to the same as it had been. And besides the impossibility, they say that the salvation of the flesh is disadvantageous; and they abuse the flesh, adducing its infirmities, and declare that it only is the cause of our sins, so that if the flesh, say they, rise again, our infirmities also rise with it. And such sophisticated reasons as the following they elaborate: If the flesh rise again, it must rise either entire and possessed of all its parts, or imperfect. But its rising imperfect argues a want of power on God's part, if some parts could be saved, and others not; but if all the parts are saved, then the body will manifestly have all its members. But is it not absurd to say that these members will exist after the resurrection from the dead, since the Saviour said, "They neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but shall be as the angels in heaven?" And the angels, say they, have neither flesh, nor do they eat, nor have sexual intercourse; therefore there shall be no resurrection of the flesh. By these and such like arguments, they attempt to distract men from the faith. And there are some who maintain that even Jesus Himself appeared only as spiritual, and not in flesh, but presented merely the appearance of flesh: these persons seek to rob the flesh of the promise.

Fragments of the Lost Work of Justin on the Resurrection, Chap. II

(resurrection/Justin)

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If He had no need of the flesh, why did He heal it? And what is most forcible of all, He raised the dead. Why? Was it not to show what the resurrection should be? How then did He raise the dead? Their souls or their bodies? Manifestly both. If the resurrection were only spiritual, it was requisite that He, in raising the dead, should show the body lying apart by itself, and the soul living apart by itself. But now He did not do so, but raised the body, confirming in it the promise of life. Why did He rise in the flesh in which He suffered, unless to show the resurrection of the flesh?

Fragments of the Lost Work of Justin on the Resurrection, Chap. IX

(soul/resurrection/Justin)

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The resurrection is a resurrection of the flesh which died. For the spirit dies not; the soul is in the body, and without a soul it cannot live. The body, when the soul forsakes it, is not. For the body is the house of the soul; and the soul the house of the spirit. These three, in all those who cherish a sincere hope and unquestioning faith in God, will be saved. Considering, therefore, even such arguments as are suited to this world, and finding that, even according to them, it is not impossible that the flesh be regenerated; and seeing that, besides all these proofs, the Saviour in the whole Gospel shows that there is salvation for the flesh, why do we any longer endure those unbelieving and dangerous arguments, and fail to see that we are retrograding when we listen to such an argument as this: that the soul is immortal, but the body is mortal, and incapable of being revived? For this we used to hear from Pythagoras and Plato even before we learned the truth. If then the Saviour said this, and proclaimed salvation to the soul alone, what new thing, beyond what we heard from Pythagoras and Plato and all their band, did He bring us? but now He has come proclaiming the glad tidings of a new and strange hope to men. For indeed it was a strange and new thing for God to promise that He would not keep incorruption in incorruption, but would make corruption incorruption. But because the prince of wickedness could in no other way corrupt the truth, he sent forth his apostles (evil men who introduced pestilent doctrines), choosing them from among those who crucified our Saviour; and these men bore the name of the Saviour, but did the works of him that sent them, through whom the name itself has been spoken against. But if the flesh do not rise, why is it also guarded, and why do we not rather suffer it to indulge its desires? Why do we not imitate physicians, who, it is said, when they get a patient that is despaired of and incurable, allow him to indulge his desires? For they know that he is dying; and this indeed those who hate the flesh surely do, casting it out of its inheritance, so far as they can; for on this account they also despise it, because it is shortly to become a corpse. But if our physician Christ, God, having rescued us from our desires, regulates our flesh with His own wise and temperate rule, it is evident that He guards it from sins because it possesses a hope of salvation, as physicians do not suffer men whom they hope to save to indulge in what pleasures they please.

Fragments of the Lost Work of Justin on the Resurrection, Chap. X

(resurrection/soul/Plato/Justin)

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[Pothinus] had fixed his see at Lyons, when Irenaeus joined him as a presbyter, having been his fellow pupil under Polycarp...We cannot doubt that to this visit we owe the lifelong struggle of Irenaeus against the heresies that now came in, like locusts, to devour the harvests of the Gospel. But let it be noted here, that, so far from being "the mother and mistress" of even the Western Churches, Rome herself is a mission of the Greeks; Southern Gaul is evangelized from Asia Minor, and Lyons checks the heretical tendencies of the Bishop at Rome. Ante-Nicene Christianity, and indeed the Church herself, appears in Greek costume which lasts through the synodical period; and Latin Christianity, when it begins to appear, is African, and not Roman. It is strange that those who have recorded this great historical fact have so little perceived its bearings upon Roman pretensions in the Middle Ages and modern times....He condescended to study these diseases of the human mind like a wise physician; and, sickening as was the process of classifying and describing them, he made this also his laborious task, that he might enable others to withstand and to overcome them....In the divine economy of Providence it was permitted that every form of heresy which was ever to infest the Church should now exhibit its essential principle, and attract the censures of the faithful. Thus testimony to primitive truth was secured and recorded: the language of catholic orthodoxy was developed and defined, and landmarks of faith were set up for perpetual memorial to all generations....The task of Irenaeus was twofold: (1) to render it impossible for any one to confound Gnosticism with Christianity, and (2) to make it impossible for such a monstrous system to survive, or ever to rise again....The work of Irenaeus Against Heresies is one of the most precious remains of early Christian antiquity. It is devoted, on the one hand, to an account and refutation of those multiform Gnostic heresies which prevailed in the latter half of the second century; and, on the other hand, to an exposition and defense of the Catholic faith....The fundamental object of the Gnostic speculations was doubtless to solve the two grand problems of all religious philosophy, viz., How to account for the existence of evil; and, How to reconcile the finite with the infinite. But these ancient theorists were not more successful in grappling with such questions than have been their successors in modern times. And by giving loose reins to their imagination, they built up the most incongruous and ridiculous systems; while, by deserting the guidance of Scripture they were betrayed into the most pernicious and extravagant errors....

...the general date assigned to his birth is somewhere between A.D. 120 and A.D. 140.

...His great work Against Heresies was, we learn, written during the episcopate of Eleutherus, that is, between A.D. 182 and A.D. 188, for Victor succeeded to the bishopric of Rome in A.D. 189.

Introductory Note to Irenaeus Against Heresies

(church/Irenaeus/theology/Gnostic)

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2. Error, indeed, is never set forth in its naked deformity, lest, being thus exposed, it should at once be detected. But it is craftily decked out in an attractive dress, so as, by its outward form, to make it appear to the inexperienced (ridiculous as the expression may seem) more true than the truth itself.

Irenaeus Against Heresies, Book I, Preface, 2.

(theology/Irenaeus)

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1. You see my friend, the method which these men employ to deceive themselves, while they abuse the Scriptures by endeavoring to support their own system out of them. For this reason, I have brought forward their modes of expressing themselves, that thus thou mightest understand the deceitfulness of their procedure, and the wickedness of their error.

Irenaeus Against Heresies, Book I, Chap. ix.

(theology/Irenaeus)

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CHAP. X.UNITY OF THE FAITH OF THE CHURCH THROUGHOUT THE WHOLE WORLD.

1. The Church, though dispersed throughout the whole world, even to the ends of the earth, has received from the apostles and their disciples this faith: [She believes] in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are in them; and in one Christ Jesus, the Son of God, who became incarnate for our salvation; and in the Holy Spirit, who proclaimed through the prophets the dispensations of God, and the advents, and the birth from a virgin, and the passion, and the resurrection from the dead, and the ascension into heaven in the flesh of the beloved Christ Jesus, our Lord and His [future] manifestation from heaven in the glory of the Father "to gather all things in one," and to raise up anew all flesh of the whole human race, in order that to Christ Jesus, our Lord, and God, and Saviour, and King, according to the will of the invisible Father, "every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth, and that every tongue should confess" to Him, and that He should execute just judgment towards all; that He may send "spiritual wickedness," and the angels who transgressed and became apostates, together with the ungodly, and unrighteous, and wicked, and profane among men, into everlasting fire; but may, in the exercise of His grace, confer immortality on the righteous, and holy, and those who have kept His commandments, and have persevered in His love, some from the beginning [of their Christian course], and others from [the date of] their repentance, and may surround them with everlasting glory.

2. As I have already observed, the Church, having received this preaching and this faith, although scattered throughout the whole world, yet, as if occupying but one house, carefully preserves it. She also believes these points [of doctrine] just as if she had but one soul, and one and the same heart, and she proclaims them, and teaches them, and hands them down, with perfect harmony, as if she possessed only one mouth. For, although the languages of the world are dissimilar, yet the import of the tradition is one and the same. For the Churches which have been planted in Germany do not believe or hand down anything different, nor do those in Spain, nor those in Gaul, nor those in the East, nor those in Egypt, nor those in Libya, nor those which have been established in the central regions of the world.

Irenaeus Against Heresies, Book I, Chap. x. 1,2.

(trinity/theology/church/Irenaeus/Christians)

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They are therefore not only chargeable with impiety against the Creator, declaring Him the fruit of a defect, but also against Christ and the Holy Spirit, affirming that they were produced on account of that defect.

Irenaeus Against Heresies, Book II, Chap. xix. 9.

(trinity/Irenaeus)

***

If any one, therefore, says to us, "How then was the Son produced by the Father?" we reply to him, that no man understands that production, or generation, or calling, or revelation, or by whatever name one may describe His generation, which is in fact altogether indescribable. Neither Valentinus, nor Marcion, nor Saturninus, nor Basilides, nor angels, nor archangels, nor principalities, nor powers [possess this knowledge], but the Father only who begat, and the Son who was begotten. Since therefore His generation is unspeakable, those who strive to set forth in generations and productions cannot be in their right mind, inasmuch as they undertake to describe things which are indescribable.

Since, therefore, we know but in part, we ought to leave all sorts of [difficult] questions in the hands of Him who in some measure, [and that only,] bestows grace on us. That eternal fire [for instance] is prepared for sinners, both the Lord has plainly declared, and the rest of the Scriptures demonstrate. And that God foreknew that this would happen, the Scriptures do in like manner demonstrate, since He prepared eternal fire from the beginning for those who were [afterwards] to transgress [His commandments]; but the cause itself of the nature of such transgressors neither has any Scripture informed us, nor has an apostle told us, nor has the Lord taught us. It becomes us, therefore, to leave the knowledge of this matter to God, even as the Lord does of the day and hour [of judgment], and not to rush to such an extreme of danger, that we will leave nothing in the hands of God, even though we have received only a measure of grace [from Him in this world]. But when we investigate points which are above us, and with respect to which we cannot reach satisfaction, [it is absurd] that we should display such an extreme of presumption as to lay open God, and things which are not yet discovered, as if already we had found out, by the vain talk about emissions, God Himself, the Creator of all things, and to assert that He derived His substance from apostasy and ignorance, so as to frame an impious hypothesis in opposition to God.

For if any one should inquire the reason why the Father, who has fellowship with the Son in all things, has been declared by the Lord alone to know the hour and the day [of judgment], he will find at present no more suitable, or becoming, or safe reason than this (since, indeed, the Lord is the only true Master), that we may learn through Him that the Father is above all things.

Irenaeus Against Heresies, Book II, Chap. xxviii. 68.

(begotten/God/Irenaeus/punishment)

***

But the Son, eternally coexisting with the Father, from of old, yea, from the beginning, always reveals the Father to Angels, Archangels, Powers, Virtues, and all to whom He wills that God should be revealed.

Irenaeus Against Heresies, Book II, Chap. xxx. 9.

(begotten/God/Irenaeus)

***

And so far are they from being able to raise the dead, as the Lord raised them, and the apostles did by means of prayer, and as has been frequently done in the brotherhood on account of some necessity - the entire Church in that particular locality entreating [the boon] with much fasting and prayer, the spirit of the dead man has returned, and he has been bestowed in answer to the prayers of the saints that they do not even believe this can be possibly be done, [and hold] that the resurrection from the dead is simply an acquaintance with that truth which they proclaim.

Irenaeus Against Heresies, Book II, Chap. xxxi. 2.

(miracles/church/Irenaeus)

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Wherefore, also, those who are in truth His disciples, receiving grace from Him, do in His name perform [miracles], so as to promote the welfare of other men, according to the gift which each one has received from Him. For some do certainly and truly drive out devils, so that those who have thus been cleansed from evil spirits frequently both believe [in Christ], and join themselves to the Church. Others have foreknowledge of things to come: they see visions, and utter prophetic expressions. Others still, heal the sick by laying their hands upon them, and they are made whole. Yea, moreover, as I have said, the dead even have been raised up, and remained among us for many years. And what shall I more say? It is not possible to name the number of the gifts which the Church [scattered] throughout the whole world, has received from God, in the name of Jesus Christ, who was crucified under Pontius Pilate, and which she exerts day by day for the benefit of the Gentiles, neither practicing deception upon any, nor taking any reward from them [on account of such miraculous interpositions]. For as she has received freely from God, freely also does she minister [to others].

Irenaeus Against Heresies, Book II, Chap. xxxii. 4.

(miracles/church/Irenaeus)

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CHAP. III.A REFUTATION OF THE HERETICS, FROM THE FACT THAT, IN THE VARIOUS CHURCHES, A PERPETUAL SUCCESSION OF BISHOPS WAS KEPT UP.

1. It is within the power of all, therefore, in every Church, who may wish to see the truth, to contemplate clearly the tradition of the apostles manifested throughout the whole world; and we are in a position to reckon up those who were by the apostles instituted bishops in the Churches, and [to demonstrate] the succession of these men to our own times; those who neither taught nor knew of anything like what these [heretics] rave about. For if the apostles had known hidden mysteries, which they were in the habit of imparting to "the perfect" apart and privily from the rest, they would have delivered them especially to those to whom they were also committing the Churches themselves.

3. The blessed apostles, then, having founded and built up the Church, committed into the hands of Linus the office of the episcopate. Of this Linus, Paul makes mention in the Epistles to Timothy. To him succeeded Anacletus; and after him, in the third place from the apostles, Clement was allotted the bishopric. This man, as he had seen the blessed apostles, and had been conversant with them, might be said to have the preaching of the apostles still echoing [in his ears], and their traditions before his eyes. Nor was he alone [in this], for there were many still remaining who had received instructions from the apostles....To this Clement there succeeded Evaristus. Alexander followed Evaristus; then sixth from the apostles, Sixtus was appointed; after him, Telephorus, who was gloriously martyred; then Hyginus; after him, Pius; then after him, Anicetus. Soter having succeeded Anicetus, Eleutherius does now, in the twelfth place from the apostles, hold the inheritance of the episcopate. In this order, and by this succession, the ecclesiastical tradition from the apostles, and the preaching of the truth, have come down to us. And this is most abundant proof that there is one and the same vivifying faith, which has been preserved in the Church from the apostles until now, and handed down in truth.

4. But Polycarp also was not only instructed by apostles, and conversed with many who had seen Christ, but was also, by apostles in Asia, appointed bishop of the Church in Smyrna, whom I also saw in my early youth, for he tarried [on earth] a very long time, and when a very old man, gloriously and most nobly suffering martyrdom, departed this life, having always taught the things which he had learned from the apostles, and which the Church has handed down and which alone are true. To these things all the Asiatic Churches testify, as do also those men who have succeeded Polycarp down to the present time,And Polycarp himself replied to Marcion, who met him on one occasion, and said, "Dost thou know me?" "I do know thee, the firstborn of Satan." Such was the horror which the apostles and their disciples had against holding even verbal communication with any corrupters of the truth; as Paul also says, "A man that is an heretic, after the first and second admonition, reject; knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself."

Irenaeus Against Heresies, Book III, Chap. iii. 1.

(church/Polycarp/Christians/Irenaeus)

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Suppose there arise a dispute relative to some important question among us, should we not have recourse to the most ancient Churches with which the apostles held constant intercourse, and learn from them what is certain and clear in regard to the present question? For how should it be if the apostles themselves had not left us writings? Would it not be necessary, [in that case,] to follow the course of the tradition which they handed down to those to whom they did commit the Churches?

Irenaeus Against Heresies, Book III, Chap. iv. 1.

(church/theology/Irenaeus)

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3. For that all things, whether Angels, or Archangels, or Thrones, or Dominions, were both established and created by Him who is God over all, through his Word, John has thus pointed out.

Irenaeus Against Heresies, book III, chapter viii.3.

(archangel/Irenaeus)

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But whatever things had a beginning, and are liable to dissolution, and are subject to and stand in need of Him who made them, must necessarily in all respects have a different term [applied to them], even by those who have but a moderate capacity for discerning such things; so that He indeed who made all things can alone, together with His Word, properly be termed God and Lord: but the things which have been made cannot have this term applied to them, neither should they justly assume that appellation which belongs to the Creator.

Irenaeus Against Heresies, book III, chapter viii.3.

(God/Irenaeus)

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9. These things being so, all who destroy the form of the Gospel are vain, unlearned, and also audacious; those, [I mean,] who represent the aspects of the Gospel as being either more in number than as aforesaid, or, on the other hand, fewer. The former class [do so], that they may seem to have discovered more than is of the truth; the latter, that they may set the dispensations of God aside. For Marcion, rejecting the entire Gospel, yea rather, cutting himself off from the Gospel, boasts that he has part in the [blessings of] the Gospel. Others, again (the Montanists), that they may set at nought the gift of the Spirit, which in the latter times has been, by the good pleasure of the Father, poured out upon the human race, do not admit that aspect [of the evangelical dispensation] presented by John's Gospel, in which the Lord promised that He would send the Paraclete; but set aside at once both the Gospel and the prophetic Spirit. Wretched men indeed! who wish to be pseudo-prophets, forsooth, but who set aside the gift of prophecy from the church; acting like those (the Encratitae) who, on account of such as come in hypocrisy, hold themselves aloof from the communion of the brethren. We must conclude, moreover, that these men (the Montanists) cannot admit the Apostle Paul either. For, in his epistle to the Corinthians, he speaks expressly of prophetical gifts, and recognizes men and women prophesying in the Church.

Irenaeus Against Heresies, book III, chapter xi.9.

(miracles/Irenaeus)

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But they are altogether deceived, who imagine that they may learn from the scriptural texts adduced by heretics, that [doctrine] which their words plausibly teach. For error is plausible, and bears a resemblance to the truth, but requires to be disguised; while truth is without disguise, and therefore has been entrusted to children. And if any one of their auditors do indeed demand explanations, or start objections to them, they affirm that he is one not capable of receiving the truth, and not having from above the seed [derived] from their Mother; and thus really give him no reply, but simply declare that he is of the intermediate regions, that is, belongs to animal natures.

Irenaeus Against Heresies, book III, chapter xv.2.

(theology/heretics/Irenaeus)

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He said to them, "Go and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost." For [God] promised, that in the last times he would pour Him [the Spirit] upon [His] servants and handmaids, that they might prophecy; wherefore He did also descend upon the Son of God, made the Son of man, becoming accustomed in fellowship with Him to dwell in the human race, to rest with human beings, and to dwell in the workmanship of God, working the will of the Father in them, and renewing them from their old habits into the newness of Christ.

Irenaeus Against Heresies, book III, chapter xvii.1.

(trinity/Irenaeus)

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For I have shown from the scriptures, that no one of the sons of Adam is as to everything, and absolutely, called God, or named Lord. But that He is Himself in His own right, beyond all men who ever lived, God, and Lord, and King Eternal, and the Incarnate Word, proclaimed by all the prophets, the apostles, and by the Spirit Himself, may be seen by all who have attained to even a small portion of the truth. Now, the scriptures would not have testified these things of Him, if, like others, He had been a mere man.

Irenaeus Against Heresies, chapter xix.2.

(God/Irenaeus)

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CHAP.XIII. CHRIST DID NOT ABROGATE THE NATURAL PRECEPTS OF THE LAW, BUT RATHER FULFILLED AND EXTENDED THEM. HE REMOVED THE YOKE AND BONDAGE OF THE OLD LAW, SO THAT MANKIND, BEING NOW SET FREE, MIGHT SERVE GOD WITH THAT TRUSTFUL PIETY WHICH COMMENDETH SONS.

3. And for this reason did the Lord, instead of that [commandment], "Thou shalt not commit adultery," forbid even concupiscence; and instead of that which runs thus, "Thou shalt not kill," He prohibited anger; and instead of the law enjoining the giving of tithes, [He told us] to share all our possessions to the poor; and not to love our neighbors only, but even our enemies; and not merely to be liberal givers and bestowers, but even that we should present a gratuitous gift to those who take away our goods.

Irenaeus Against Heresies, book IV, chapter xiii.subheading and 3.

(law/Irenaeus)

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Thus also did Rahab the harlot, while condemning herself, inasmuch as she was a Gentile, guilty of all sins, nevertheless receive the three spies, who were spying out all the land, and hid them at her home; [which three were] doubtless [a type of] the Father and the Son, together with the Holy Spirit.

Irenaeus Against Heresies, book IV, chapter xx.12.

(trinity/Irenaeus)

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1. Now God shall be glorified in his handiwork, fitting it so as to be conformable to, and modeled after, His own Son. For by the hands of the Father, that is, by the Son and the Holy Spirit, man, and not [merely] a part of man, was made in the likeness of God. Now the soul and the Spirit are certainly a part of the man, but certainly not the man; for the perfect man consists in the commingling and the union of the soul receiving the spirit of the Father, and the admixture of that fleshly nature which was moulded after the image of God.

Irenaeus Against Heresies, Book V, chapter vi.1.

(trinity/soul/Irenaeus)

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For that flesh which has been moulded is not a perfect man in itself, but the body of a man, and part of a man. Neither is the soul itself, considered apart by itself, the man; but it is the soul of a man, and part of a man. Neither is the spirit a man, for it is called the spirit, and not a man; but the commingling and union of all these constitutes the perfect man. And for this cause does the apostle, explaining himself, make it clear that the saved man is a complete man as well as a spiritual man; saying thus in the first Epistle to the Thessalonians, "Now the God of peace sanctify you perfect (perfectos); and may your spirit, and soul, and body be preserved whole without complaint to the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ." Now what was his object in praying that these three that is, soul, body, and spirit might be preserved to the coming of the Lord, unless he was aware of the [future] reintegration and union of the three, and [that they should be heirs of] one and the same salvation? For this cause also he declares that those are 'the perfect' who present unto the Lord the three [component parts] without offence. Those, then, are the perfect who have had the Spirit of God remaining in them, and have preserved their souls and bodies blameless, holding fast the faith of God, that is, that faith which is [directed] towards God, and maintaining righteous dealings with respect to their neighbors.

Irenaeus Against Heresies, Book V, chapter vi.1.

(soul/resurrection/Irenaeus)

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CHAP. VII.INASMUCH AS CHRIST DID RISE IN OUR FLESH, IT FOLLOWS THAT WE SHALL BE ALSO RAISED IN THE SAME; SINCE THE RESURRECTION PROMISED TO US SHOULD NOT BE REFERRED TO SPIRITS NATURALLY IMMORTAL, BUT TO BODIES IN THEMSELVES MORTAL.

1. In the same manner, therefore, as Christ did rise in the substance of flesh, and pointed out to His disciples the mark of the nails and the opening in His side (now these are the tokens of that flesh which rose from the dead), so "shall He also," it is said, "raise us up by His own power." And again to the Romans he says, "But if the Spirit of Him that raised Jesus up from the dead dwell in you, He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies." What, then, are mortal bodies? Can they be souls? Nay, for souls are incorporeal when put in comparison with mortal bodies.

Irenaeus Against Heresies, Book V, chapter vii. intro. & 1.

(soul/resurrection/Irenaeus)

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CHAP. IX.SHOWING HOW THAT PASSAGE OF THE APOSTLE WHICH THE HERETICS PERVERT, SHOULD BE UNDERSTOOD; VIZ., "FLESH AND BLOOD SHALL NOT POSSESS THE KINGDOM OF GOD."

1. Among the other [truths] proclaimed by the apostle, there is also this one, "That flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God." This is [the passage] which is adduced by all the heretics in support of their folly, with an attempt to annoy us, and to point out that the handiwork of God is not saved. They do not take this fact into consideration, that there are three things out of which, as I have shown, the complete man is composed flesh, soul and spirit. One of these does indeed preserve and fashion [the man] this is the spirit; while as to another it is united and formed that is the flesh; then [comes] that which is between these two that is the soul, which sometimes indeed, when it follows the spirit, is raised up by it, but sometimes it sympathizes with the flesh, and falls into carnal lusts...

3. The flesh, therefore, when destitute of the Spirit of God, is dead, not having life, and cannot possess the kingdom of God: [it is as] irrational blood, like water poured out upon the ground.

Irenaeus Against Heresies, Book V, chapter ix.1,3.

(soul/1 Cor. 15:50/resurrection/Irenaeus)

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Rightly therefore does the apostle declare, "Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God;" and, "Those who are in the flesh cannot please God:" not repudiating [by these words] the substance of flesh, but showing that into it the Spirit must be infused. And for this reason, he says, "This mortal must put on immortality, and this corruptible must put on incorruption." And again he declares, "But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you." He sets this forth still more plainly, where he says, "The body indeed is dead, because of sin; but the Spirit is life, because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of him who raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies, because of His Spirit dwelling in you." And again he says, in the Epistle to the Romans, "For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die." {Now by these words] he does not prohibit them from living their lives in the flesh, for he was himself in the flesh when he wrote to them; but he cuts away the lusts of the flesh, those which bring death upon a man. And for this reason he says in continuation, "But if ye through the Spirit do mortify the works of the flesh, ye shall live. For whosoever are led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God."

Irenaeus Against Heresies, Book V, chapter x.2.

(1 Cor.15:50/Irenaeus/resurrection)

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...So it is with respect to that [favorite] expression of the heretics: "Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God;" while taking two expressions of Paul's, without having perceived the apostle's meaning, or examined critically the force of the terms, but keeping fast hold of the mere expressions by themselves,they die in consequence of their influence, overturning as far as in them lies the entire dispensation of God.

3. For thus they will allege that this passage refers to the flesh strictly so called, and not to fleshly works, as I have pointed out, so representing the apostle as contradicting himself. For immediately following, in the same Epistle, he says conclusively, speaking thus in reference to the flesh: "For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality...

Irenaeus Against Heresies, Book V, chapter xiii. 2,3.

(1 Cor. 15:50/Irenaeus/resurrection/Gnostics)

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And thus one God the Father is declared, who is above all, and through all, and in all. The Father is indeed above all, and He is the Head of Christ; but the Word is through all things, and is Himself the Head of the Church; while the Spirit is in us all, and He is the living water, which the Lord grants to those who rightly believe in Him, and love Him, and who know that "there is one Father, who is above all, and through all, and in us all." And to these things does John also, the disciple of the Lord, bear witness, when he speaks thus in the Gospel: "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 nothing made."

Irenaeus Against Heresies, Book V, chapter xviii.2.

(God/John 1:1/Irenaeus)

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Thus, then, He will Himself renew the inheritance of the earth, and will reorganize the mystery of the glory of [His] sons; as David says, "He who hath renewed the face of the earth." He promised to drink of the fruit of the vine with his disciples, thus indicating both these points: the inheritance of the earth in which the new fruit of the vine is drunk, and the resurrection of His disciples in the flesh. For the new flesh which rises again is the same which also received the new cup. And he cannot by any means be understood as drinking of the fruit of the vine when settled down with his [disciples] above in a super-celestial place; nor, again, are they who drink it devoid of flesh, for to drink of that which flows from the vine pertains to flesh, and not spirit.

Irenaeus Against Heresies, Book V, chapter xxxiii.1.

(resurrection/earth/Irenaeus)

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For all these and other words were unquestionably spoken in reference to the resurrection of the just, which takes place after the coming of Antichrist, and the destruction of all nations under his rule; in [the times of] which [resurrection] the righteous shall reign in the earth, waxing stronger by the sight of the Lord: and through Him they shall become accustomed to partake in the glory of God the Father, and shall enjoy in the kingdom intercourse and communion with the holy angels, and union with spiritual beings; and [with respect to] those whom the Lord shall find in the flesh, awaiting Him from heaven, and who have suffered tribulation, as well as escaped the hands of the Wicked one.

Irenaeus Against Heresies, Book V, chapter xxxv.1.

(resurrection/Antichrist/earth/Irenaeus)