Ante-nicene fathers



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7070 Thus Harvey renders aswmaton ulhn: so Baur, Chr. Gnos., as quoted by Stieren. Billius proposes to read enswmaton, corporeal.

7171 Though not actually, for that was the work of the Demiurge. See next chapter.

7272 “In order that,” says Grabe, “this formation might not be merely according to essence, but also according to knowledge, as the formation of the mother Achamoth was characterized above.”

7373 Metropator, as proceeding only from his mother Achamoth: Apator, as having no male progenitor.

7474 Harvey remarks, “The Valentinian Saviour being an aggregation of all the aeonic perfections, the images of them were reproduced by the spiritual conception of Achamoth beholding the glory of Swthr. The reader will not fail to observe that every successive development is the reflex of a more divine antecedent.”

7575 The relation indicated seems to be as follows: Achamoth, after being formed “according to knowledge,” was outside of the Pleroma as the image of Propator, the Demiurge was as Nous, and the mundane angels which he formed corresponded to the other Aeons of the Pleroma.

7676 “Achamoth by these names must be understood to have an intermediate position between the divine prototypal idea and creation: she was the reflex of the one, and therefore masculo-feminine; she was the pattern to be realized in the latter, and therefore was named Earth and Jerusalem.”—Harvey.

7777 But after the consummation here referred to, Achamoth regained the Pleroma: see below, chap. vii. 1.

7878 Isa. xlv. 5, 6, xlvi. 9.

7979 An account is here given of the infusion of a spiritual principle into mankind. The Demiurge himself could give no more than the animal soul; but, unwittingly to himself, he was made the instrument of conveying that spiritual essence from Achamoth, which had grown up within her from the contemplation of those angels who accompanied the Saviour.

8080 Matt. v. 13, 14.

8181 “The doctrine of Valentinus, therefore,” says Harvey, “as regards the human nature of Christ, was essentially Docetic. His body was animal, but not material, and only visible and tangible as having been formed kat oikonomian and kateskeuasmenon arrhtw tecnh.”

8282 [That is, carnal; men of the carnal mind, psychic instead of pneumatic. Rom. viii. 6.]

8383 On account of what they had received from Achamoth.

8484 Gal. v. 21.

8585 Comp. Luke xix. 26.

8686 Comp. John xvii. 16. The Valentinians, while in the world, claimed to be not of the world, as animal men were.

8787 Their spiritual substance was received from Achamoth; their animal souls were created by the Demiurge. These are now separated; the spirit enters the Pleroma, while the soul remains in heaven.

8888 Viz., Achamoth.

8989 A Syriac fragment here reads, “He spake by the prophets through him.”

9090 “Thus,” says Harvey,“we may trace back to the Gnostic period the Apollinarian error, closely allied to the Docetic, that the body of Christ was not derived from the blessed Virgin, but that it was of heavenly substance, and was only brought forth into the world through her instrumentality.”

9191 By thus extending himself through Stauros, who bounded the Pleroma, the Christ above became the type of the Christ below, who was extended upon the cross.

9292 Billius, following the old Latin version, reads, “They interpret many things, spoken by the prophets, of this seed.”

9393 Such appears to be the meaning of this sentence, but the original is very obscure. The writer seems to refer to the spiritual, the animal, and the material classes of men, and to imply that the Demiurge supposed some prophecies to be due to one of these classes, and some to the others.

9494 Matt. viii. 9; Luke vii. 8.

9595 As was the case at first, in Adam.

9696 Literally, “reading from things unwritten.”

9797 Luke viii. 41.

9898 1 Cor. xv. 8.

9999 1 Cor. xi. 10. Irenaeus here reads kalumma, veil, instead of exousian, power, as in the received text. [An interesting fact, as it betokens an old gloss, which may have slipped into the text of some ancient mss.]

100100 Matt. xxvii. 46.

101101 Matt. xxvi. 38.

102102 Matt. xxvi. 39.

103103 John xii. 27. The Valentinians seem, for their own purposes, to have added ouk oida to this text.

104104 Luke ix. 57, 58.

105105 Luke ix. 61, 62.

106106 Luke ix. 60.

107107 Luke xix. 5.

108108 1 Cor. xv. 48.

109109 1 Cor. ii. 14.

110110 1 Cor. ii. 15.

111111 Rom. xi. 16.

112112 Luke xv. 4, 8.

113113 Luke ii. 28.

114114 Luke ii. 36.

115115 Luke vii. 35.

116116 1 Cor. ii. 6.

117117 Eph. v. 32.

118118 John i. 1, 2.

119119 John i. 3.

120120 John i. 3, 4. The punctuation here followed is different from that commonly adopted, but is found in many of the Fathers, and in some of the most ancient mss.

121121 Eph. v. 13.

122122 John i. 5.

123123 up auth", occurring twice, is rendered both times in the old Latin version, “ab eis.” The reference is to skotia, darkness, i.e., all those not belonging to the spiritual seed.

124124 Comp. John i. 14.

125125 This is parenthetically inserted by the author, to show the misquotation of Scripture by these heretics.

126126 These words are wanting in the Greek, but are inserted in the old Latin version.

127127 It is difficult to give an exact rendering of meletan in this passage; the old Lat. version translates it by meditari, which Massuet proposes to render “skilfully to fit.”

128128 Tertullian refers (Praescrip. Haer.) to those Homeric centos of which a specimen follows. We have given each line as it stands in the original: the text followed by Irenaeus differs slightly from the received text.

129129 Literally, “immoveable in himself,” the word aklinh being used with an apparent reference to the original meaning of kanona, a builder’s rule.

130130 The meaning of the word apolutrwsi" here is not easily determined; but it is probably a scenic term equivalent to apolusi", and may be rendered as above.

131131 [The Creed, in the sublime simplicity of its fundamental articles, is established; that is, by the impossiblility of framing anything to take their place.]

132132 “Of God” is added from the old Latin.

133133 Eph. i. 10.

134134 Phil. ii. 10, 11.

135135 Eph. vi. 12.

136136 Probably referring to the Churches in Palestine.

137137 The text here is arkoumenou" toutou", which is manifestly corrupt. Various emendations have been proposed: we prefer reading arkoumeno" toutoi", and have translated accordingly.

138138 Rom. xi. 32.

139139 Irenaeus here reads panta instead of panta", as in Text. Rec. of New Testament.

140140 eucaristein—this word has been deemed corrupt, as it certainly appears out of keeping with the other verbs; but it may be rendered as above.

141141 1 Cor. xv. 54.

142142 Hos. ii. 23; Rom. ix. 25.

143143 Isa. liv. 1; Gal. iv. 27.

144144 Rom. xi. 33.

145145 That is, the first of the two or three here referred to, not the first of the Gnostic teachers, as some have imagined. [The Gnosticism of one age may be essentially the same in spirit as the Agnosticism of another.]

146146 Viz., all outside of the Pleroma.

147147 Corrected from Ecclesia in the text.

148148 Some have supposed that the name of this teacher was Epiphanes, and that the old Latin mistakenly translates this by clarus; others think that Colorbasus is the teacher in question.

149149 The Greek text is wanting till the end of this section.

150150 [1 Kings xviii. 27. “It came to pass that Elijah mocked them,” etc. This reductio ad absurdum of our author is singularly applicable to certain forms of what is called “Modern Thought.”]

151151 We here follow the Greek as preserved by Hippolytus (Philosoph., vi. 38). The text followed by Epiphanius (Haer., xxxiii. 1) does not so well agree with the Latin.

152152 The text is here hopelessly corrupt; but the general meaning seems to be that given above.

153153 This sentence exists only in the Latin version, and we can give only a free translation.

154154 Iliad, ii. 1, etc.

155155 These words are found in Epiphanius, but omitted in the old Latin version. The Latin gives “sense” instead of “light.”

156156 The text is here very uncertain. Some propose to read six Aeons instead of all.

157157 Here again the text is corrupt and obscure. We have followed what seems the most probable emendation.

158158 Harvey justly remarks, that “one cause of perplexity in unravelling the Valentinian scheme is the recurrence of similar names at different points of the system, e.g., the Enthymesis of Sophia was called Sophia and Spiritus; and Pater, Arche, Monogenes, Christus, Anthropos, Ecclesia, were all of them terms of a double denomination.”

159159 The Greek text of this section is preserved both by Epiphanius (Haer. xxxiv. 1) and by Hippolytus (Philosoph., vi. 39, 40). Their citation are somewhat discordant, and we therefore follow the old Latin version.

160160 Pliny, Hist. Nat., xxxv. 15, etc.

161161 Epiphanius now gives the Greek text verbatim, to which, therefore, we return.

162162 Probably referring to Sige, the consort of Bythus.

163163 [Comp. Acts xvi. 16.]

164164 Literally, “the place of thy mightiness is in us.”

165165 [Note this manner of primitive “confession;” and see Bingham, Antiquities, book xv. cap. 8]

166166 We here follow the rendering of Billius, “in iisdem studiis versantes.” Others adhere to the received text, and translate peripolizonte" “going about idly.”

167167 Grabe is of opinion that reference is made in this term to an imprecatory formula in use among the Marcosians, analogous to the form of thanksgiving employed night and morning by the Jews for their redemption from Egypt. Harvey refers the word to the second baptism practised among these and other heretics, by which it was supposed they were removed from the cognizance of the Demiurge, who is styled the “judge” in the close of the above sentence.

168168 That is, Sophia, of whom Achamoth, afterwards referred to, was the emanation.

169169 The angels accompanying Soter were the consorts of spiritual Gnostics, to whom they were restored after death.

170170 The syntax in this long sentence is very confused, but the meaning is tolerably plain. The gist of it is, that these Gnostics, as being the spiritual seed, claimed a consubstantiality with Achamoth, and consequently escaped from the material Deniurge, and attained at last to the Pleroma.

171171 Rendering the wearer invisible. See Il., v. 844.

172172 2 Tim. iii. 6.

173173 This sentence has completely baffled all the critics. [Its banter, or mock gravity, has not been self-evident.] We cannot enter upon the wide field of discussion which it has opened up, but would simply state that Irenaeus here seems to us, as often, to be playing upon the terms which were in common use among these heretics. Marcus probably received his system from Colorbasus, and is here declared, by the use of that jargon which Irenaeus means to ridicule while so employing it, to have proceeded to develop it in the way described.

174174 Such appears to be the meaning of anousio" in this passage. The meaning of ousia fluctuated for a time in the early Church, and was sometimes used to denote material substance, instead of its usual significance of being.

175175 The old Latin preserves arch untranslated, implying that this was the first word which the Father spoke. Some modern editors adopt this view, while others hold the meaning simply to be, as given above, that that first sound which the Father uttered was the origin of all the rest.

176176 The letters are here confounded with the Aeons, which they represented.

177177 [1 Cor. xiv. 16.]

178178 Matt. xviii. 10.

179179 By this Achamoth is denoted, who was said to give rise to the material elements, after the image of the Divine.

180180 That is, their names are spelt by other letters.

181181 The old Latin version renders epishmon, insigne, illustrious, but there seems to be a reference to the Valentinian notion of the mystic number of 888 formed ( 10+8+200+70+400+200) vy the numerical value of the letters in the word Ihsou".

182182 The mutes are p, k, t, b, g, d, f, c, q.

183183 The semi-vowels are l, m, n, r, ", z, x, y.

184184 It seems scarcely possible to give a more definite rendering of this clause: it may be literally translated thus: “And because they receive the outflow of those above, but the turning back again of those below.”

185185 The ninth letter being taken from the mutes and added to the semi-vowels, an equal division of the twenty-four was thus secured.

186186 Viz., Pater, Athropos, and Logos.

187187 Viz., z, x, y = d", k", p".

188188 Matt. xvii. 7; Mark ix. 2.

189189 Moses and Elias being added to the company.

190190 Referring to the word Creisto", according to Harvey, who remarks, that “generally the Ogdoad was the receptacle of the spiritual seed.”

191191 The Saviour, as Alpha and Omega, was symbolized by the dove, the sum of the Greek numerals, p, e, r, i, ", t, e, r, a (peristera, dove), being, like that of A and W, 801. .

192192 That is, the letters z, x, y all contain ", whose value is six, and which was called epishmon by the Greeks.

193193 Referring to Aletheia, which, in Greek, contains seven letters.

194194 By these seven powers are meant the seven heavens (also called angels), formed by the Demiurge.

195195 We here follow the text of Hippolytus: the ordinary text and the old Latin read, “So does the soul of infants, weeping and mourning over Marcus, deify him.”

196196 Ps. viii. 2.

197197 Ps. xix. 1.

198198 The text is here altogether uncertain: we have given the probable meaning.

199199 That is, the name of Soter, the perfect result of the whole Pleroma.

200200 Manifestly to be so spelt here, as in the sequel Chreistus, for Christus.

201201 The text is here altogether uncertain, and the meaning obscure.

202202 The reading is exceedingly doubtful: some prefer the number eighty-eight.

203203 There were, as Harvey observes, three extraneous characters introduced into the Greek alphabet for the sake of numeration—the three episema for 6, 90, and 900 respectively. The true alphabet, then, as employed to denote number, included eight units, eight tens, and eight hundreds.

204204 Or, according to the Greek text, “being as the way to the Father;” comp. John xiv. 6.

205205 The text is here uncertain: we follow that suggested by Grabe.

206206 [Comp. cap. xi. 4, supra.]

207207 Comp. Gen. xxxi. 2.—We here follow the punctuation of Scaliger, now generally accepted by the editors, though entirely different from the old Latin.

208208 [Mosheim thinks this Marcus was a lunatic.]

209209 [Some think Pothinus.]

210210 Luke xv. 4.

211211 All the editors, Grabe, Massuet, Stieren, and Harvey, differ as to the text and interpretation of this sentence. We have given what seems the simplest rendering of the text as it stands.

212212 Referring to the last of the twelve Aeons.

213213 Luke xv. 8.

214214 Meaning the Aeon who left the Duodecad, when eleven remained, and not referring to the lost sheep of the parable.

215215 Harvey gives the above paraphrase of the very obscure original; others propose to read lv instead of logou.

216216 Massuet explains this and the following reference, by remarking that the ancients used the fingers of the hand in counting; by the left hand they indicated all the numbers below a hundred, but by the right hand all above that sum.—Comp. Juvenal, Sat., x. 249.

217217 Tit. iii. 10.

218218 2 John 10, 11.

219219 Isa. xlviii. 22.

220220 The Demiurge being the fruit of the abortive conversion of the abortive passion of Achamoth, who, again, was the abortive issue of Sophia.

221221 i.e., by aiming at what transcends their ability, they fall into absurdity, as a bow is broken by bending it too far.
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