Ante-nicene fathers



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8080 [A noteworthy apology for early Christian writers.]

8181 This is now supposed to be fable.

8282 Literally, “sacred men.”

8383 [In Grabe’s edition consult notes of Lang and Kortholt, ii. p. 45.]

8484 [Travellers must recognise the agreement of Justin’s story with the traditional cave still shown in ths region.]

8585 [The fascinating use made of this by Virgil must not be overlooked: -

“Ultima Cumaei venit jam carminis aetas,” etc.Ecl. iv. (Pollio) 4.]



8686 [Hermes Trismegistus. Milton (Penseroso, line 88,) translates this name.][N.B.—This work is not supposed to be Justin’s by modern critics.]

11 Qeou is omitted in mss., but monarcia of itself implies it.

22 i.e., the doctrine that God only is to be worshipped.

33 Literally, “history.”

44 Grotius supposes this to be Aeschylus the younger in some prologue.

55 This may also be translated: “Expounding the set of opinions prevalent in his day.”

66 “Pythagorei cujusdam fetus.”—Otto, after Goezius.

77 [Langus compares 2 Pet. iii. 7.]

88 Some propose to insert these three lines in the centre of the next quotation from Philemon, after the line, “Nay, there’s an eye,” etc.

99 Some say Diphilus.

1010 Groitius joins these lines to the preceding. Clement of Alexandria assigns them, and the others, which are under the name of Euripides, to Diphilius.

1111 Some attribute these lines to Menander, others regard them as spurious.

1212 P. 68, D, [cap. 30.]

1313 The mss. are corrupt here. They seem to read, and one actually does read, “all” for “many.” “Many” is in Plato, and the clause in brackets is taken from Plato to fill up the sense.

1414 kaka in Euripedes, kala in text.

1515 [See Warburton’s Divine Legation (book ii. § 4), vol. ii. p. 20. Ed. London, 1811.]

1616 These lines are assigned to Diphilus.

1717 The words from “but” to “all” are assigned by Otto to Justin, not to Menander.

1818 See chap. i., the opening sentence.

1919 Odyssey, xxii. 347.[N. B.—This tractate is probably the genuine work of Justin.]

11 Mark xii. 25.

22 That is to say, their lives are a protest against entering into marriage for any other purpose than that of begetting children.

33 i.e., to the devil. [St. John xii. 31, xiv. 30, xvi. 11.]

44 Luke xx. 34, 35.

55 Isa. xxxv. 5.

66 Odyssey, ii. 304.

77 Ps. xcv. 5.

88 Ps. xcvi. 5.

99 i.e., by actually happening under our observation.

1010 exwqen, “without” or “outside,” to which reference is made in the next clause, which may be translated, “because nothing is outside God,” or, “because to God nothing is ‘without._0’”

1111 kosmikwn, arguments drawn from the laws by which the world is governed.

1212 to kenon, the void of space in which the infinity of atoms moved.

1313 Or, “citizenship.”

1414 This might also be rendered, “and the things in the world, on account of which he was made;” but the subsequent argument shows the propriety of the above rendering.

1515 Gen. i. 26.

1616 Gen. ii. 7.

1717 Mark ii. 17.

1818 Migne proposes to read here kai ou sun auth, “without the flesh,” which gives a more obvious meaning. The above reading is, however, defensible. Justin means that the flesh was not mercy partaking of the soul’s faith and promise, but had rights of its own.

1919 It is supposed that a part of the treatise has been here dropped out.

2020 Comp. Luke xxiv. 32, etc.

2121 Acts i. 9.

[N. B.—These fragments are probably genuine.]



11 [See, on the Resurrection, cap. vi.; and compare, -

“And of those demons that are foundIn fire, air, flood, or under ground,” etc.Milton, Pens., line 93.]



22 See Lev. xiv. 49–53.

33 Literally, “living.”

44 The Gentiles are here referred to, who saw no necessity for the incarnation.

55 Jer. ii. 19, etc. (LXX.)

66 It is doubtful if these words are really Justin’s, or, if so, from which, or what part, of his Apologies they are derived.

77 Eusebius, book v. to the twenty-seventh chapter, should be read as an introduction to this author.

11 i.e., the emperors.

22 Meta dogmato" orqou, orthodoxy.

33 That is, that a prophetic inspiration is required to speak worthily of Christ.

44 Another reading is dogmata, which may be translated, “I shall have what He teaches [us to expect].”

55 This passage admits of another rendering. Lord Hailes, following the common Latin version, thus translates: “It was our chief wish to endure tortures for the sake of our Lord Jesus Christ, and so to be saved.”

66 [This wholesale sentence implies a great indifference to the probable Roman citizenship of some of them, if not of our heroic martyr himself; but Acts xxii. 25–29 seems to allow that the condemned were not protected by the law.]

11 One of the Antiochian Canons probably reflects the current language of an earlier antiquity thus: dia to en th mhtropolei pantacoqen suntrecein panta" tou" ta pragmata econta"; and, if so, this suntrecein gives the meaning of convenire.

22 Its more potent,” etc., is not a strict rendering: “the more potent,” rather; which leaves the principalitas to the city, not the Church.

33 Bishop Wordsworth inclines to the idea that the original Greek was ikanwteran arcaiothta, thus conceding that Irenaeus was speaking of the greater antiquity of Rome as compared with other (Western) Churches. Even so, he shows that the argument of Irenaeus is fatal to Roman pretensions, which admit of no such ideas as he advances, and no such freedom as that of his dealings with Rome.

44 Nobody has more forcibly stated the argument of Irenaeus than the Abbé Guettée, in his exhaustive work on the Papacy. I published a translation of this valuable historical epitome in New York (Carleton), 1867; but it is out of print. The original may be had in Paris (Fishbacher), No. 33 Rue de Seine.

11 The Greek original of the work of Irenaeus is from time to time recovered through the numerous quotations made from it by subsequent writers, especially by the author’s pupil Hippolytus, and by Epiphanius. The latter preserves (Haer. xxxi. secs. 9–32) the preface of Irenaeus, and most of the first book. An important difference of reading occurs between the Latin and Greek in the very first word. The translator manifestly read epei, quatenus, while in Epiphanius we find epi, against. The former is probably correct, and has been followed in our version. We have also supplied a clause, in order to avoid the extreme length of the sentence in the original, which runs on without any apodosis to the words anagkaion hghsamhn, “I have judged it necessary.”

22 1 Tim. i. 4. The Latin has here genealogias infinitas, “endless genealogies,” as in textus receptus of New Testament.

33 As will be seen by and by, this fancied being was, in the Valentinian system, the creator of the material universe, but far inferior to the supreme ruler Bythus.

44 There are frequent references to Irenaeus to some venerable men who had preceded him in the Church. It is supposed that Pothinus, whom he succeeded at Lyons, is generally meant; but the reference may sometimes be to Polycarp, with whom in early life he had been acquainted.

55 Comp. Matt. vii. 14.

66 The original is egkefalon exeptukasin, which the Latin translator renders simply, “have not sufficient brains.” He probably followed a somewhat different reading. Various emendations have been proposed, but the author may be understood by the ordinary text to be referring ironically to the boasted subtlety and sublimity of the Gnostics.

77 Matt. x. 26.

88 As Caesar informs us (Comm., i. 1), Gaul was divided into three parts, one of which was called Celtic Gaul, lying between the Seine and the Garonne. Of this division Lyons is the principal city.

99 [The reader will find a logical and easy introduction to the crabbed details which follow, by turning to chap. xxiii., and reading through succeeding chapters down to chap. xxix.]

1010 This term Aeon (Aiwn) seems to have been formed from the words aei wn, ever-existing. “We may take aiwn, therefore,” says Harvey (Irenaeus, cxix.), “in the Valentinian acceptation of the word, to mean an emanation from the divine substance, subsisting coordinately and co-eternally with the Deity, the Pleroma still remaining one.”

1111 Sige, however, was no true consort of Buthus, who included in himself the idea of male and female, and was the one cause of all things: comp. Hippolytus, Philosop., vi. 29. There seems to have been considerable disagreement among these heretics as to the completion of the mystical number thirty. Valentinus himself appears to have considered Bythus as a monad, and Sige as a mere nonentity. The two latest Aeons, Christ and the Holy Spirit, would then complete the number thirty. But other Gnostic teachers included both Bythus and Sige in that mystical number.

1212 It may be well to give here the English equivalents of the names of these Aeons and their authors. They are as follows: Bythus, Profundity; Proarche, First-Beginning; Propator, First-Father; Ennoea, Idea; Charis, Grace; Sige, Silence; Nous, Intelligence; Aletheia, Truth; Logos, Word; Zoe, Life; Anthropos, Man; Ecclesia, Church; Bythius, Deep; Mixis, Mingling; Ageratos, Undecaying; Henosis, Union; Autophyes, Self-existent; Hedone, Pleasure; Acinetos, Immoveable; Syncrasis, Blending; Monogenes, Only-Begotten; Macaria, Happiness; Paracletus, Advocate; Pistis, Faith; Patricos, Ancestral; Elpis, Hope; Metricos, Metrical; Agape, Love; Ainos, Praise; Synesis, Understanding; Ecclesiasticus, Ecclesiastical; Macariotes, Felicity; Theletos, Desiderated; Sophia, Wisdom.

1313 Luke iii. 23.

1414 Matt. xx. 1–16.

1515 Some omit en plhqei, while others render the words “a definite number,” thus: “And if there is anything else in Scripture which is referred to by a definite number.”

1616 Alluding to the Gnostic notion that, in generation, the male gives form, the female substance. Sophia, therefore, being a female Aenon, gave to her enthymesis substance alone, without form. Comp. Hippol., Philosop., vi. 30.

1717 Some render this obscure clause, “lest it should never attain perfection,” but the above seems preferable. See Hippol., vi. 31, where the fear referred to is extended to the whole Pleroma.

1818 “The reader will observe the parallel; as the enthymesis of Bythus produced intelligent substance, so the enthymesis of Sophia resulted in the formation of material substance.”—Harvey.

1919 Some propose reading these words in the dative rather than the accusative, and thus to make them refer to the image of the Father.

2020 The meaning of these terms is as follows: Stauros means primarily a stake, and then a cross; Lytrotes is a Redeemer; Carpistes, according to Grabe, means an Emancipator, according to Neander a Reaper; Horothetes is one that fixes boundaries; and Metagoges is explained by Neander as being one that brings back, from the supposed function of Horos, to bring back all that sought to wander from the special grade of being assigned them.

2121 The common text has aposterhqhnai, was deprived; but Billius proposes to read apostaurwqhnai, in conformity with the ancient Latin version, “crucifixam.”

2222 That is, had not shared in any male influence, but was a purely female production.

2323 Literally, “fruit.” Harvey remarks on this expression, “that what we understand by emanations, the Gnostic described as spiritual fructification; and as the seed of a tree is in itself, even in the embryo state, so these various Aeons, as existing always in the divine nature, were co-eternal with it.”

2424 This is an exceedingly obscure and difficult passage. Harvey’s rendering is: “For, say they, Christ taught them the nature of their copulae, (namely,) that being cognisant of their (limited) perception of the Unbegotten they needed no higher knowledge, and that He enounced,” etc. the words seem scarcely capable of yielding this sense: we have followed the interpretation of Billius.

2525 Both the text and meaning are here very doubtful. Some think that the import of the sentence is, that the knowledge that the Father is incomprehensible secured the continued safety of the Aeons, whilethe same knowledge conferred upon Monogenes his origin and form.

2626 The Greek text inserts en, one, before “Holy Spirit.”

2727 The reading is here very doubtful. We have followed the text of Grabe (approved by Harvey), ex agwno" sumphxi".

2828 These are all names of the same person: see above, ii. 4. Hence some have proposed the reading exaiwnio" instead of ex agwno", alluding to the sixfold appellation of the Aeon Horos.

2929 Billius renders, “from the repentance of the Father,” but the above seems preferable.

3030 Harvey remarks, “Even in their Christology the Valentinians must have their part and counterpart.”

3131 Or, “to all the generations of the ages of the age.” See Eph. iii. 21. The apostle, of course, simply uses these words as a strong expression to denote “for ever.”

3232 Literally, “at the thanksgiving,” or “eucharist.” Massuet, the Benedictine editor, refers this to the Lord’s Supper, and hence concludes that some of the ancient liturgies still extant must even then have been in use. Harvey and others, however, deny that there is any necessity for supposing the Holy Eucharist to be referred to; the ancient Latin version translates in the plural, “in gratiarum actionibus.”

3333 Luke ii. 42.

3434 Luke vi. 13.

3535 This opinion is in positive contradiction to the forty days mentioned by St. Luke (Acts i. 3). But the Valentinians seem to have followed a spurious writing of their own called “The Gospel of Truth.” See iii. 11, 8.

3636 The numeral value of Iota in Greek is ten, and of Eta, eight.

3737 Matt. v. 18.

3838 Mark v. 31.

3939 The Latin reads “filii,” which we have followed. Reference is made in this word to Nous, who was, as we have already seen, also called Son, and who interested himself in the recovery of Sophia. Aletheia was his consort, and was typified by the hem of the Saviour’s garment.

4040 Her individuality (morfh) would have been lost, while her substance (oujsiva) would have survived in the common essence of the Aeons.

4141 That is, the “second Christ” referred to above, sec. 1. [It is much to be wished that this second were always distinguished by the untranslated name Soter.]

4242 Ex. xiii. 2; Luke ii. 23.

4343 Not as being born of it, but as fecundating it, and so producing a manifold offspring. See below.

4444 Col. iii. 11.

4545 Rom. xi. 36.

4646 Col. ii. 9.

4747 Eph. i. 10.

4848 Luke xiv. 27. It will be observed that the quotations of Scripture made by Irenaeus often vary somewhat from the received text. This may be due to various reasons—his quoting from memory; his giving the texts in the form in which they were quoted by the heretics; or, as Harvey conjectures, from his having been more familiar with a Syriac version of the New Testament than with the Greek original.

4949 Matt. x. 21.

5050 Matt. x. 34.

5151 Luke iii. 17.

5252 Hence Stauros was called ty the agricultural name Carpistes, as separating what was gross and material from the spiritual and heavenly.

5353 1 Cor. i. 18.

5454 Gal. vi. 14. The words en mhdeni do not occur in the Greek text.

5555 Billius renders, “of their opinion.”

5656 The punctuation and rendering are here slightly doubtful.

5757 This term, though Tertullian declares himself to have been ignorant of its derivation, was evidently formed from the Hebrew word hmbj

—chockmah, wisdom.



5858 The reader will observe that light and fulness are the exact correlatives of the darkness and vacuity which have just been mentioned.

5959 As above stated (ii. 3), the Gnostics held that form and figure were due to the male, substance to the female parent.

6060 The Valentinian Stauros was the boundary fence of the Pleroma beyond which Christ extended himself to assist the enthymesis of Sophia.

6161 The peculiar gnosis which Nous received from his father, and communicated to the other Aeons.

6262 Probably corresponding to the Hebrew hwh

, Jehovah.



6363 This sentence is very elliptical in the original, but the sense is as given above. Sophia fell from Gnosis by degradation; Achamoth never possessed this knowledge, her nature being from the first opposed to it.

6464 “The Demiurge derived from Enthymesis an animal, and not a spiritual nature.”—Harvey.

6565 Matt. x. 8.

6666 “Jesus, or Soter, was also called the Paraclete in the sense of Advocate, or one acting as the representative of others.”—Harvey.

6767 Both the Father and the other Aeons constituting Soter an impersonation of the entire Pleroma.

6868 Col. i. 16.

6969 That is, as in the case of her mother Sophia, who is sometimes called “the Sophia above,” Achamothe being “the Sophia below,” or “the second Sophia.”



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