THE  LETTER
 
to DIOGNETUS
 

 

MS-DOC Version


The Letter of Mathetes to Diognetus ?ca. 170. Roberts, Alexander and Donaldson, James, Ante-Nicene Fathers: Volume I TLG 1350.001 Epistula ad Diognetum, A Diognète, 2nd edn. (Cerf, Paris, 1965) ser. Sources Chrétiennes vol. 33 bis. pp. 52-84.

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER I. [OCCASION of the LETTER]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Since I see you, most excellent Diognetus, exceedingly desirous to learn the mode of worshipping God prevalent among the Christians, and inquiring very carefully and earnestly concerning them, what God they trust in, and what form of religion they observe,1 so as all to look down upon the world itself, and despise death, while they neither esteem those to be gods that are reckoned such by the Greeks, nor hold to the superstition of the Jews; and what is the affection which they cherish among themselves; and why, in fine, this new kind or practice [of piety] has only now entered into the world,2 and not long ago; I cordially welcome this thy desire, and I implore God, who enables us both to speak and to hear, to grant to me so to speak, that, above all, I may hear you have been edified,3 and to you so to hear, that I who speak may have no cause of regret for having done so.

1.1 Ἐπειδὴ ὁρῶ͵ κράτιστε Διόγνητε͵ ὑπερεσπουδακότα σε τὴν θεοσέβειαν τῶν Χριστιανῶν μαθεῖν καὶ πάνυ σαφῶς καὶ ἐπιμελῶς πυνθανόμενον περὶ αὐτῶν͵ τίνι τε Θεῷ πεποιθότες καὶ πῶς θρησκεύοντες αὐτὸν τόν τε κόσμον ὑπερορῶσι πάντες καὶ θανάτου καταφρονοῦσι͵ καὶ οὔτε τοὺς νομιζομένους ὑπὸ τῶν Ἑλλήνων θεοὺς λογίζονται οὔτε τὴν Ἰουδαίων δεισιδαιμονίαν φυλάσσουσι͵ καὶ τίνα τὴν φιλοστοργίαν ἔχουσι πρὸς ἀλλήλους͵ καὶ τί δήποτε καινὸν τοῦτο γένος ἢ ἐπιτήδευμα εἰσῆλθεν εἰς τὸν βίον νῦν καὶ οὐ πρότερον. 1.2 Ἀποδέχομαί γε τῆς προθυμίας σε ταύτης͵ καὶ παρὰ τοῦ Θεοῦτοῦ καὶ τὸ λέγειν καὶ τὸ ἀκούειν ἡμῖν χορηγοῦντοςαἰτοῦμαι δοθῆναι ἐμοὶ μὲν εἰπεῖν οὕτως ὡς μάλιστα ἂν ἀκούσαντά σε βελτίω γενέσθαι͵ σοί τε οὕτως ἀκοῦσαι ὡς μὴ λυπηθῆναι τὸν εἰπόντα.

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER II  [IDOLS AND PAGAN POLYTHEISM]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Come, then, after you have freed4 yourself from all prejudices possessing your mind, and laid aside what you have been accustomed to, as something apt to deceive5 you, and being made, as if from the beginning, a new man, inasmuch as, according to your own confession, you are to be the hearer of a new [system of] doctrine; come and contemplate, not with your eyous only, but with your understanding, the substance and the form6 of those whom you declare and deem to be gods. Is not one of them a stone similar to that on which we tread? Is7 not a second brass, in no way superior to those vessels which are constructed for our ordinary use? Is not a third wood, and that already rotten? Is not a fourth silver, which needs a man to watch it, lest it be stolen? Is not a fifth iron, consumed by rust? Is not a sixth earthenware, in no degree more valuable than that which is formed for the humblest purposes? Are not all these of corruptible matter? Are they not fabricated by means of iron and fire? Did not the sculptor fashion one of them, the brazier a second, the silversmith a third, and the potter a fourth? Was not every one of them, before they were formed by the arts of these [workmen] into the shape of these [gods], each in its8 own way subject to change? Would not those things which are now vessels, formed of the same materials, become like to such, if they met with the same artificers? Might not these, which are now worshipped by you, again be made by men vessels similar to others? Are they not all deaf? Are they not blind? Are they not without life? Are they not destitute of feeling? Are they not incapable of motion? Are they not all liable to rot? Are they not all corruptible? These things you call gods; these you serve; these you worship; and you become altogether like to them. For this reason you hate the Christians, because they do not deem these to be gods. But do not you yourselves, who now think and suppose [such to be gods], much more cast contempt upon them than they [the Christians do]? Do you notmuch more mock and insult them, when you worship those that are made of stone and earthenware, without appointing any persons to guard them; but those made of silver and gold you shut up by night, and appoint watchers to look after them by day, lest they be stolen? And by those gifts which you mean to present to them, do you not, if they are possessed of sense, rather punish [than honour] them? But if, on the other hand, they are destitute of sense, you convict them of this fact, while you worship them with blood and the smoke of sacrifices. Let any one of you suffer such indignities!9 Let any one of you endure to have such things done to himself! But not a single human being will, unless compelled to it, endure such treatment, since he is endowed with sense and reason. A stone, however, readily bears it, seeing it is insensible. Certainly you do not show [by your10 conduct] that he [your God] is possessed of sense. And as to the fact that Christians are not accustomed to serve such gods, I might easily find many other things to say; but if even what has been said does not seem to any one sufficient, I deem it idle to say anything further.

2.1 Ἄγε δή͵ καθάρας σαυτὸν ἀπὸ πάντων τῶν προκατ εχόντων σου τὴν διάνοιαν λογισμῶν͵ καὶ τὴν ἀπατῶσάν σε συνήθειαν ἀποσκευασάμενος͵ καὶ γενόμενος ὥσπερ ἐξ ἀρχῆς καινὸς ἄνθρωπος͵ ὡς ἂν καὶ λόγου καινοῦ͵ καθάπερ καὶ αὐτὸς ὡμολόγησας͵ ἀκροατὴς ἐσόμενος· ἴδε μὴ μόνον τοῖς ὀφθαλμοῖς͵ ἀλλὰ καὶ τῇ φρονήσει͵ τίνος ὑποστάσεως ἢ τίνος εἴδους τυγχάνουσιν οὓς ἐρεῖτε καὶ νομίζετε θεούς. 2.2 Οὐχ ὁ μέν τις λίθος ἐστὶν ὅμοιος τῷ πατουμένῳ͵ ὁ δ΄ ἐστὶ χαλκὸς οὐ κρείσσων τῶν εἰς τὴν χρῆσιν ἡμῖν κεχαλ κευμένων σκευῶν͵ ὁ δὲ ξύλον ἤδη καὶ σεσηπός͵ ὁ δὲ ἄργυρος χρῄζων ἀνθρώπου τοῦ φυλάξαντος ἵνα μὴ κλαπῇ͵ ὁ δὲ σίδηρος ὑπὸ ἰοῦ διεφθαρμένος͵ ὁ δὲ ὄστρακον͵ οὐδὲν τοῦ κατασκευασμένου πρὸς τὴν ἀτιμοτάτην ὑπηρεσίαν εὐπρεπέσ τερον; 2.3 οὐ φθαρτῆς ὕλης ταῦτα πάντα; οὐχ ὑπὸ σιδήρου 2.3.2 καὶ πυρὸς κεχαλκευμένα; οὐχ ὃ μὲν αὐτῶν λιθοξόος ὃ δὲ χαλκεὺς ὃ δὲ ἀργυροκόπος ὃ δὲ κεραμεὺς ἔπλασεν; οὐ πρὶν ἢ ταῖς τέχναις τούτων εἰς τὴν μορφὴν τούτων ἐκτυ πωθῆναι ἦν ἕκαστον αὐτῶν ἑκάστῳ ἔτι καὶ νῦν μετα μεμορφωμένον; οὐ τὰ νῦν͵ ἐκ τῆς αὐτῆς ὕλης ὄντα σκεύη γένοιτ΄ ἄν͵ εἰ τύχοι τῶν αὐτῶν τεχνιτῶν͵ ὅμοια τοιού τοις; 2.4 Οὐ ταῦτα πάλιν τὰ νῦν ὑφ΄ ὑμῶν προσκυνού μενα δύναιτ΄ ἂν ὑπὸ ἀνθρώπων σκεύη ὅμοια γενέσθαι τοῖς λοιποῖς; οὐ κωφὰ πάντα͵ οὐ τυφλά͵ οὐκ ἄψυχα͵ οὐκ ἀναίσθητα͵ οὐκ ἀκίνητα; οὐ πάντα σηπόμενα͵ οὐ πάντα φθειρόμενα; 2.5 ταῦτα θεοὺς καλεῖτε͵ τούτοις δουλεύετε͵ τούτοις προσκυνεῖτε· τέλεον δ΄ αὐτοῖς ἐξομοιοῦσθε. 2.6 Διὰ τοῦτο μισεῖτε Χριστιανούς͵ ὅτι τούτους οὐχ ἡγοῦνται θεούς. 2.7 Ὑμεῖς γὰρ οἱ νῦν νομίζοντες καὶ οἰόμενοι͵ οὐ πολὺ πλέον αὐτῶν καταφρονεῖτε; οὐ πολὺ μᾶλλον αὐτοὺς χλευάζετε καὶ ὑβρίζετε͵ τοὺς μὲν λιθίνους καὶ ὀστρακίνους σέβοντες ἀφυλάκτους͵ τοὺς δὲ ἀργυρέους καὶ χρυσοῦς ἐγκλείοντες ταῖς νυξί͵ καὶ ταῖς ἡμέραις φύλακας παρακαθιστάντες͵ ἵνα μὴ κλαπῶσιν; 2.8 αἷς δὲ δοκεῖτε τιμαῖς προσφέ ρειν͵ εἰ μὲν αἰσθάνονται͵ κολάζετε μᾶλλον αὐτούς· εἰ δὲ ἀναισθητοῦσιν͵ ἐλέγχοντες αἵματι καὶ κνίσαις αὐτοὺς θρησκεύετε. 2.9 Ταῦθ΄ ὑμῶν τις ὑπομεινάτω͵ ταῦτα ἀνασχέσθω τις ἑαυτῷ γενέσθαι. Ἀλλὰ ἄνθρωπος μὲν οὐδὲ εἷς ταύτης τῆς κολάσεως ἑκὼν ἀνέξεται͵ αἴσθησιν γὰρ ἔχει καὶ λογισμόν· ὁ δὲ λίθος ἀνέχεται͵ ἀναισθητεῖ γάρ· οὐκοῦν τὴν αἴσθησιν αὐτοῦ ἐλέγχετε. 2.10 Περὶ μὲν οὖν τοῦ μὴ δεδουλῶσθαι Χριστιανοὺς τοιούτοις θεοῖς πολλὰ μὲν καὶ ἄλλα εἰπεῖν ἔχοιμι· εἰ δέ τινι μὴ δοκοίη κἂν ταῦτα ἱκανά͵ περισσὸν ἡγοῦμαι καὶ τὸ πλείω λέγειν.

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER III. [JEWISH RELIGION]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And next, I imagine that you are most desirous of hearing something on this point, that the Christians do not observe the same forms of divine worship as do the Jews. The Jews, then, if they abstain from the kind of service above described, and deem it proper to worship one God as being Lord of all, [are right]; but if they offer Him worship in the way which we have described, they greatly err. For while the Gentiles, by offering such things to those that are destitute of sense and hearing, furnish an example of madness; they, on the other hand by thinking to offer these things to God as if He needed them, might justly reckon it rather an act of folly than of divine worship. For He that made heaven and earth, and all that is therein, and gives to us all the things of which we stand in need, certainly requires none of those things which He Himself bestows on such as think of furnishing them to Him. But those who imagine that, by means of blood, and the smoke of sacrifices and burnt-offerings, they offer sacrifices [acceptable] to Him, and that by such honours they show Him respect,—these, by11 supposing that they can give anything to Him who stands in need of nothing, appear to me in no respect to differ from those who studiously confer the same honour on things destitute of sense, and which therefore are unable to enjoy such honours.

3.1 Ἑξῆς δὲ περὶ τοῦ μὴ κατὰ τὰ αὐτὰ Ἰουδαίοις θεοσε βεῖν αὐτοὺς οἶμαί σε μάλιστα ποθεῖν ἀκοῦσαι. 3.2 Ἰουδαῖοι τοίνυν͵ εἰ μὲν ἀπέχονται ταύτης τῆς προειρημένης λατ ρείας͵ καὶ εἰς θεὸν ἕνα πιστεύειν καὶ τοῦτον τῶν πάντων σέβειν [καὶ] δεσπότην͵ ἀξιοῦσι φρονίμως· εἰ δὲ τοῖς προειρημένοις ὁμοιοτρόπως τὴν θρησκείαν προσάγουσιν αὐτῷ ταύτην͵ διαμαρτάνουσιν. 3.3 Ἃ γὰρ τοῖς ἀναισθήτοις καὶ κωφοῖς προσφέροντες οἱ ῞ελληνες ἀφροσύνης δεῖγμα παρέχουσι͵ ταῦθ΄ οὗτοι͵ καθάπερ προσδεομένῳ τῷ θεῷ λογιζόμενοι παρέχειν͵ μωρίαν εἰκὸς μᾶλλον ἡγοῖντ΄ ἄν͵ οὐ θεοσέβειαν. 3.4 Ὁ γὰρ ποιήσας τὸν οὐρανὸν καὶ τὴν γῆν καὶ πάντα τὰ ἐν αὐτοῖς καὶ πᾶσιν ἡμῖν χορηγῶν͵ ὧν προσδεόμεθα͵ οὐδενὸς ἂν αὐτὸς προσδέοιτο τούτων ὧν τοῖς οἰομένοις διδόναι παρέχει αὐτός. 3.5 Οἱ δέ γε θυσίας αὐτῷ δι΄ αἵματος καὶ κνίσης καὶ ὁλοκαυτωμάτων ἐπιτελεῖν οἰόμενοι καὶ ταύταις ταῖς τιμαῖς αὐτὸν γεραίρειν͵ οὐδέν μοι δοκοῦσι διαφέρειν τῶν εἰς τὰ κωφὰ τὴν αὐτὴν ἐνδεικ νυμένων φιλοτιμίαν͵ τὰ μὴ δυνάμενα τῆς τιμῆς μεταλαμβάνειν. Τὸ δὲ δοκεῖν τινὰ παρέχειν τῷ μηδενὸς προσδεομένῳ 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER IV [JEWISH OBSERVANCES]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But as to their scrupulosity concerning meats, and their superstition as respects the Sabbaths, and their boasting about circumcision, and their fancies about fasting and the new moons, which are utterly ridiculous and unworthy of notice,—I do not12 think that you require to learn anything from me. For, to accept some of those things which have been formed by God for the use of men as properly formed, and to reject others as useless and redundant,—how can this be lawful? And to speak falsely of God, as if He forbade us to do what is good on the Sabbath-days,—how is not this impious? And to glory in the circumcision13 of the flesh as a proof of election, and as if, on account of it, they were specially beloved by God,—how is it not a subject of ridicule? And as to their observing months and days,14 as if waiting upon15 the stars and the moon, and their distributing,16 according to their own tendencies, the appointments of God, and the vicissitudes of the seasons, some for festivities,17 and others for mourning,—who would deem this a part of divine worship, and not much rather a manifestation of folly? I suppose, then, you are sufficiently convinced that the Christians properly abstain from the vanity and error common [to both Jews and Gentiles], and from the busy-body spirit and vain boasting of the Jews; but you must not hope to learn the mystery of their peculiar mode of worshipping God from any mortal.

4.1 Ἀλλὰ μὴν τό γε περὶ τὰς βρώσεις αὐτῶν ψοφοδεές͵ καὶ τὴν περὶ τὰ σάββατα δεισιδαιμονίαν͵ καὶ τὴν τῆς περι τομῆς ἀλαζονείαν͵ καὶ τὴν τῆς νηστείας καὶ νουμηνίας εἰρωνείαν͵ καταγέλαστα καὶ οὐδενὸς ἄξια λόγου͵ οὐ νομίζω σε χρῄζειν παρ΄ ἐμοῦ μαθεῖν. 4.2 Τό τε γὰρ τῶν ὑπὸ τοῦ Θεοῦ κτισθέντων εἰς χρῆσιν ἀνθρώπων ἃ μὲν ὡς καλῶς κτισθέντα παραδέχεσθαι͵ ἃ δ΄ ὡς ἄχρηστα καὶ περισσὰ παραιτεῖσθαι͵ πῶς οὖν θέμις ἐστί; 4.3 τὸ δὲ καταψεύδεσθαι Θεοῦ ὡς κωλύοντος ἐν τῇ τῶν σαββάτων ἡμέρᾳ καλόν τι ποιεῖν͵ πῶς οὐκ ἀσεβές; 4.4 τὸ δὲ καὶ τὴν μείωσιν τῆς σαρκὸς μαρτύριον ἐκλογῆς ἀλαζονεύεσθαι ὡς διὰ τοῦτο ἐξαιρέτως ἠγαπημένους ὑπὸ Θεοῦ͵ πῶς οὐ χλεύης ἄξιον; 4.5 τὸ δὲ παρεδρεύοντας αὐτοὺς ἄστροις καὶ σελήνῃ τὴν παρατήρησιν τῶν μηνῶν καὶ τῶν ἡμερῶν ποιεῖσθαι͵ καὶ τὰς οἰκονομίας Θεοῦ καὶ τὰς τῶν καιρῶν ἀλλαγὰς καταδιαιρεῖν πρὸς τὰς αὐτῶν ὁρμάς͵ ἃς μὲν εἰς ἑορτάς͵ ἃς δὲ εἰς πένθη· τίς ἂν θεοσεβείας καὶ οὐκ ἀφροσύνης πολὺ πλέον ἡγήσεται τὸ δεῖγμα; 4.6 τῆς μὲν οὖν κοινῆς εἰκαιότη τος καὶ ἀπάτης καὶ τῆς Ἰουδαίων πολυπραγμοσύνης καὶ ἀλαζονείας ὡς ὀρθῶς ἀπέχονται Χριστιανοί͵ ἀρκούντως σε νομίζω μεμαθηκέναι. Τὸ δὲ τῆς ἰδίας αὐτῶν θεοσεβείας μυστήριον μὴ προσδοκήσῃς δύνασθαι παρὰ ἀνθρώπου μαθεῖν.

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER V [CHRISTIAN ETHICS 1]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 striking18 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.

5.1 Χριστιανοὶ γὰρ οὔτε γῇ οὔτε φωνῇ οὔτε ἔσθεσι δια κεκριμένοι τῶν λοιπῶν εἰσιν ἀνθρώπων. 5.2 Οὔτε γάρ που πόλεις ἰδίας κατοικοῦσιν οὔτε διαλέκτῳ τινὶ παρηλ λαγμένῃ χρῶνται οὔτε βίον παράσημον ἀσκοῦσιν. 5.3 Οὐ μὴν ἐπινοίᾳ τινὶ καὶ φροντίδι πολυπραγμόνων ἀνθρώπων μάθημα τοῦτ΄ αὐτοῖς ἐστὶν εὑρημένον͵ οὐδὲ δόγματος ἀνθρωπίνου προεστᾶσιν ὥσπερ ἔνιοι. 5.4.1 Κατοικοῦντες δὲ πόλεις Ἑλληνίδας τε καὶ βαρβάρους ὡς ἕκαστος ἐκληρώθη͵ καὶ τοῖς ἐγχωρίοις ἔθεσιν ἀκολουθοῦντες ἔν τε ἐσθῆτι καὶ διαίτῃ καὶ τῷ λοιπῷ βίῳ͵ θαυμαστὴν καὶ ὁμολογουμένως παράδοξον ἐνδείκνυνται τὴν κατάστασιν τῆς ἑαυτῶν πολιτείας. 5.5 Πατρίδας οἰκοῦσιν ἰδίας͵ ἀλλ΄ ὡς πάροικοι· μετέχουσι πάντων ὡς πολῖται͵ καὶ πανθ΄ ὑπομένουσιν ὡς ξένοι· πᾶσα ξένη πατρίς ἐστιν αὐτῶν͵ καὶ πᾶσα πατρὶς ξένη.

They marry, as do all [others]; they beget children; but they do not destroy their offspring.19 They have a common table, but not a common bed.20 5.6 Γαμοῦσιν ὡς πάντες͵ τεκνογονοῦσιν· ἀλλ΄ οὐ ῥίπτουσι τὰ γεννώμενα. 5.7 Τράπεζαν κοινὴν παρατίθενται͵ ἀλλ΄ οὐ κοίτην.
They are in the flesh, but they do not live after the flesh.21 They pass their days on earth, but they are citizens of heaven.22 They obey the prescribed laws, and at the same time surpass the laws by their lives. They love all men, and are persecuted by all. They are unknown and condemned; they are put to death, and restored to life.23 They are poor, yet make many rich;24 they are in lack of all things, and yet abound in all; they are dishonoured, and yet in their very dishonour are glorified. They are evil spoken of, and yet are justified; they are reviled, and bless;25 they are insulted, and repay the insult with honour; they do good, yet are punished as evil-doers. When punished, they rejoice as if quickened into life; they are assailed by the Jews as foreigners, and are persecuted by the Greeks; yet those who hate them are unable to assign any reason for their hatred. 5.8 Ἐν σαρκὶ τυγχάνουσιν͵ ἀλλ΄ οὐ κατὰ σάρκα ζῶσιν. 5.9 Ἐπὶ γῆς διατρίβουσιν͵ ἀλλ΄ ἐν οὐρανῷ πολι τεύονται. 5.10 Πείθονται τοῖς ὡρισμένοις νόμοις͵ καὶ τοῖς ἰδίοις βίοις νικῶσι τοὺς νόμους. 5.11 Ἀγαπῶσι πάντας͵ καὶ ὑπὸ πάντων διώκονται. 5.12 Ἀγνοοῦνται͵ καὶ κατακρίνονται· θανατοῦνται͵ καὶ ζωοποιοῦνται. 5.13 Πτωχεύουσι͵ καὶ πλουτίζουσι πολλούς· πάντων ὑστεροῦνται͵ καὶ ἐν πᾶσι περισσεύουσιν. 5.14 Ἀτιμοῦνται͵ καὶ ἐν ταῖς ἀτιμίαις δοξά ζονται· βλασφημοῦνται͵ καὶ δικαιοῦνται. 5.15 Λοιδοροῦνται καὶ εὐλογοῦσιν· ὑβρίζονται͵ καὶ τιμῶσιν. 5.16 Ἀγαθοποι οῦντες ὡς κακοὶ κολάζονται· κολαζόμενοι χαίρουσιν ὡς ζωοποιούμενοι. 5.17 Ὑπὸ Ἰουδαίων ὡς ἀλλόφυλοι πολε μοῦνται͵ καὶ ὑπὸ Ἑλλήνων διώκονται͵ καὶ τὴν αἰτίαν τῆς ἔχθρας εἰπεῖν οἱ μισοῦντες οὐκ ἔχουσιν.

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER VI [CHRISTIANS – THE SOUL OF THE WORLD]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.26 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,27 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 preserves28 that very body; and Christians are confined in the world as in a prison, and yet they are the preservers29 of the world. The immortal soul dwells in a mortal tabernacle; and Christians dwell as sojourners in corruptible [bodies], looking for an incorruptible dwelling30 in the heavens. The soul, when but ill-provided with food and drink, becomes better; in like manner, the Christians, though subjected day by day to punishment, increase the more in number.31 God has assigned them this illustrious position, which it were unlawful for them to forsake.

6.1 Ἁπλῶς δ΄ εἰπεῖν͵ ὅπερ ἐστὶν ἐν σώματι ψυχή͵ τοῦτ΄ εἰσὶν ἐν κόσμῳ Χριστιανοί. 6.2 ῎εσπαρται κατὰ πάντων τῶν τοῦ σώματος μελῶν ἡ ψυχή͵ καὶ Χριστιανοὶ κατὰ τὰς τοῦ κόσμου πόλεις. 6.3 Οἰκεῖ μὲν ἐν τῷ σώματι ψυχή͵ οὐκ ἔστι δὲ ἐκ τοῦ σώματος· καὶ Χριστιανοὶ ἐν κόσμῳ οἰκοῦσιν͵ οὐκ εἰσὶ δὲ ἐκ τοῦ κόσμου. 6.4.1 Ἀόρατος ἡ ψυχὴ ἐν ὁρατῷ φρουρεῖται τῷ σώματι· καὶ Χριστιανοὶ γινώσ κονται μὲν ὄντες ἐν τῷ κοσμῷ͵ ἀόρατος δὲ αὐτῶν ἡ θεοσέβεια μένει. 6.5 Μισεῖ τὴν ψυχὴν ἡ σὰρξ καὶ πολεμεῖ μηδὲν ἀδικουμένη͵ δίοτι ταῖς ἡδοναῖς κωλύεται χρῆσθαι· μισεῖ καὶ Χριστιανοὺς ὁ κόσμος μηδὲν ἀδικούμενος͵ ὅτι ταῖς ἡδοναῖς ἀντιτάσσονται. 6.6 Ἡ ψυχὴ τὴν μισοῦσαν ἀγαπᾷ σάρκα καὶ τὰ μέλη· καὶ Χριστιανοὶ τοὺς μισοῦντας ἀγαπῶσιν. 6.7 Ἐγκέκλεισται μὲν ἡ ψυχὴ τῷ σώματι͵ συνέχει δὲ αὐτὴ τὸ σῶμα· καὶ Χριστιανοὶ κατέχονται μὲν ὡς ἐν φρουρᾷ τῷ κόσμῳ͵ αὐτοὶ δὲ συνέχουσι τὸν κόσμον. 6.8 Ἀθά νατος ἡ ψυχὴ ἐν θνητῷ σκηνώματι κατοικεῖ· καὶ Χριστιανοὶ παροικοῦσιν ἐν φθαρτοῖς͵ τὴν ἐν οὐρανοῖς ἀφθαρσίαν προσ δεχόμενοι. 6.9 Κακουργουμένη σιτίοις καὶ ποτοῖς ἡ ψυχὴ βελτιοῦται· καὶ Χριστιανοὶ κολαζόμενοι καθ΄ ἡμέραν πλεονάζουσι μᾶλλον. 6.10 Εἰς τοσαύτην αὐτοὺς τάξιν ἔθετο ὁ Θεός͵ ἣν οὐ θεμιτὸν αὐτοῖς παραιτήσασθαι.

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER VII [THE MANIFESTATION OF CHRIST]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For, as I said, this was no mere earthly invention which was delivered to them, nor is it a mere human system of opinion, which they judge it right to preserve so carefully, nor has a dispensation of mere human mysteries been committed to them, but truly God Himself, who is almighty, the Creator of all things, and invisible, has sent from heaven, and placed among men, [Him who is] the truth, and the holy and incomprehensible Word, and has firmly established Him in their hearts. He did not, as one might have imagined, send to men any servant, or angel, or ruler, or any one of those who bear sway over earthly things, or one of those to whom the government of things in the heavens has been entrusted, but the very Creator and Fashioner of all things—by whom He made the heavens—by whom he enclosed the sea within its proper bounds—whose ordinances32 all the stars33 faithfully observe—from whom the sun34 has received the measure of his daily course to be observed35 —whom the moon obeys, being commanded to shine in the night, and whom the stars also obey, following the moon in her course; by whom all things have been arranged, and placed within their proper limits, and to whom all are subject—the heavens and the things that are therein, the earth and the things that are therein, the sea and the things that are therein—fire, air, and the abyss—the things which are in the heights, the things which are in the depths, and the things which lie between. This [messenger] He sent to them. Was it then, as one36 might conceive, for the purpose of exercising tyranny, or of inspiring fear and terror? By no means, but under the influence of clemency and meekness. As a king sends his son, who is also a king, so sent He Him; as God37 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. As calling us He sent Him, not as vengefully pursuing us; as loving us He sent Him, not as judging us. For He will yet send Him to judge us, and who shall endure His appearing?38 […] Do you not see them exposed to wild beasts, that they may be persuaded to deny the Lord, and yet not overcome? Do you not see that the more of them are punished, the greater becomes the number of the rest? This does not seem to be the work of man: this is the power of God; these are the evidences of His manifestation.

7.1 Οὐ γὰρ ἐπίγειον͵ ὡς ἔφην͵ εὕρημα τοῦτ΄ αὐτοῖς παρε δόθη͵ οὐδὲ θνητὴν ἐπίνοιαν φυλάσσειν οὕτως ἀξιοῦσιν ἐπιμελῶς͵ οὐδὲ ἀνθρωπίνων οἰκονομίαν μυστηρίων πεπίσ τευνται. 7.2 Ἀλλ΄ αὐτὸς ἀληθῶς ὁ παντοκράτωρ καὶ παντο κτίστης καὶ ἀόρατος Θεός͵ αὐτὸς ἀπ΄ οὐρανῶν τὴν Ἀλήθειαν καὶ τὸν Λόγον τὸν ἅγιον καὶ ἀπερινόητον ἀνθρώποις ἐνίδρυσε καὶ ἐγκατεστήριξε ταῖς καρδίαις αὐτῶν͵ οὐ καθάπερ ἄν τις εἰκάσειεν ἀνθρώποις ὑπηρέτην τινὰ πέμψας ἢ ἄγγελον ἢ ἄρχοντα ἤ τινα τῶν διεπόντων τὰ ἐπίγεια ἤ τινα τῶν πεπισ τευμένων τὰς ἐν οὐρανοῖς διοικήσεις͵ ἀλλ΄ αὐτὸν τὸν τεχνίτην καὶ δημιουργὸν τῶν ὅλων͵ ᾧ τοὺς οὐρανοὺς ἔκτισεν͵ ᾧ τὴν θάλασσαν ἰδίοις ὅροις ἐνέκλεισεν͵ οὗ τὰ μυστήρια πιστῶς πάντα φυλάσσει τὰ στοιχεῖα͵ παρ΄ οὗ τὰ μέτρα τῶν τῆς ἡμέρας δρόμων ἥλιος εἴληφε φυλάσσειν͵ ᾧ πειθαρχεῖ σελήνη νυκτὶ φαίνειν κελεύοντι͵ ᾧ πειθαρχεῖ τὰ ἄστρα τῷ τῆς σελήνης ἀκολουθοῦντα δρόμῳ͵ ᾧ πάντα διατέτακται καὶ διώρισται καὶ ὑποτέτακται͵ οὐρανοὶ καὶ τὰ ἐν οὐρανοῖς͵ γῆ καὶ τὰ ἐν τῇ γῇ͵ θάλασσα καὶ τὰ ἐν τῇ θαλάσσῃ͵ πῦρ͵ ἀήρ͵ ἄβυσσος͵ τὰ ἐν ὕψεσι͵ τὰ ἐν βάθεσι͵ τὰ ἐν τῷ μεταξύ· τοῦτον πρὸς αὐτοὺς ἀπέστειλεν. 7.3 ῏αρά γε͵ ὡς ἀνθρώπων ἄν τις λογίσαιτο͵ ἐπὶ τυραννίδι καὶ φόβῳ καὶ καταπλήξει; 7.4 οὐ μὲν οὖν· ἀλλ΄ ἐν ἐπιεικείᾳ καὶ πραΰτητι ὡς βασιλεὺς πέμπων υἱὸν βασιλέα ἔπεμψεν͵ ὡς θεὸν ἔπεμψεν͵ ὡς πρὸς ἀνθρώπους ἔπεμψεν͵ ὡς σῴζων ἔπεμψεν͵ ὡς πείθων͵ οὐ βιαζόμενος· βία γὰρ οὐ πρόσεστι τῷ Θεῷ. 7.5 ῎επεμψεν ὡς καλῶν͵ οὐ διώκων· ἔπεμψεν ὡς ἀγαπῶν͵ οὐ κρίνων. 7.6 Πέμψει γὰρ αὐτὸν κρίνοντα͵ καὶ τίς αὐτοῦ τὴν παρουσίαν ὑποστήσεται;   7.7 Οὐχ ὁρᾷς παρα βαλλομένους θηρίοις͵ ἵνα ἀρνήσωνται τὸν Κύριον͵ καὶ μὴ νικωμένους; 7.8 οὐχ ὁρᾷς ὅσῳ πλείονες κολάζονται͵ τοσούτῳ πλεονάζοντας ἄλλους; 7.9 ταῦτα ἀνθρώπου οὐ δοκεῖ τὰ ἔργα͵ ταῦτα δύναμίς ἐστι Θεοῦ· ταῦτα τῆς παρουσίας αὐτοῦ δείγματα.

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER VIII [PARTIAL REVELATION BEFORE CHRIST]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For, who of men at all understood before His coming what God is? Do you accept of the vain and silly doctrines of those who are deemed trustworthy philosophers? of whom some said that fire was God, calling that God to which they themselves were by and by to come; and some water; and others some other of the elements formed by God. But if any one of these theories be worthy of approbation, every one of the rest of created things might also be declared to be God. But such declarations are simply the startling and erroneous utterances of deceivers;39 and no man has either seen Him, or made Him known,40 but He has revealed Himself. And He has manifested Himself through faith, to which alone it is given to behold God. For God, the Lord and Fashioner of all things, who made all things, and assigned them their several positions, proved Himself not merely a friend of mankind, but also long-suffering [in His dealings with them.] He was always of such a character, and still is, and will ever be, kind and good, and free from wrath, and true, and the only one who is [absolutely] good;41 and He formed in His mind a great and unspeakable conception, which He communicated to His Son alone. As long, then, as He held and preserved His own wise counsel in concealment,42 He appeared to neglect us, and to have no care over us. But after He revealed and laid open, through His beloved Son, the things which had been prepared from the beginning, He conferred every blessing43 all at once upon us, so that we should both share in His benefits, and see and be active44 [in His service]. Who of us would ever have expected these things? He was aware, then, of all things in His own mind, along with His Son, according to the relation45 subsisting between them.

8.1 Τίς γὰρ ὅλως ἀνθρώπων ἠπίστατο τί ποτ΄ ἐστὶ Θεός͵ πρὶν αὐτὸν ἐλθεῖν; 8.2 ἢ τοὺς κενοὺς καὶ ληρώδεις ἐκείνων λόγους ἀποδέχῃ τῶν ἀξιοπίστων φιλοσόφων; ὧν οἱ μέν τινες πῦρ ἔφασαν εἶναι τὸν θεόνοὗ μέλλουσι χωρήσειν αὐτοί͵ τοῦτο καλοῦσι θεόνοἱ δὲ ὕδωρ͵ οἱ δ΄ ἄλλο τι τῶν στοιχείων τῶν ἐκτισμένων ὑπὸ Θεοῦ. 8.3 Καίτοι γε͵ εἴ τις τούτων τῶν λόγων ἀπόδεκτός ἐστι͵ δύναιτ΄ ἂν καὶ τῶν λοιπῶν κτισμάτων ἓν ἕκαστον ὁμοίως ἀποφαίνεσθαι Θεόν. 8.4 Ἀλλὰ ταῦτα μὲν τερατεία καὶ πλάνη τῶν γοήτων ἐστίν. 8.5 Ἀνθρώπων δὲ οὐδεὶς οὔτε εἶδεν οὔτε ἐγνώρισεν αὐτὸς δὲ ἑαυτὸν ἐπέδειξεν. 8.6 Ἐπέδειξε δὲ διὰ πίστεως͵ ᾗ μόνῃ Θεὸν ἰδεῖν συγκεχώρηται. 8.7 Ὁ γὰρ δεσπότης καὶ δημιουρ γὸς τῶν ὅλων Θεός͵ ὁ ποιήσας τὰ πάντα καὶ κατὰ τάξιν διακρίνας͵ οὐ μόνον φιλάνθρωπος ἐγένετο ἀλλὰ καὶ μακρόθυ μος. 8.8 Ἀλλ΄ οὗτος ἦν μὲν ἀεὶ τοιοῦτος͵ καὶ ἔστι͵ καὶ ἔσται· χρηστὸς καὶ ἀγαθὸς καὶ ἀόργητος καὶ ἀληθής͵ καὶ μόνος ἀγαθός ἐστιν. 8.9 Ἐννοήσας δὲ μεγάλην καὶ ἄφραστον ἔννοιαν ἀνεκοινώσατο μόνῳ τῷ παιδί. 8.10 Ἐν ὅσῳ μὲν οὖν κατεῖχεν ἐν μυστηρίῳ καὶ διετήρει τὴν σοφὴν αὐτοῦ βουλήν͵ ἀμελεῖν ἡμῶν καὶ ἀφροντιστεῖν ἐδόκει. 8.11 Ἐπεὶ δὲ ἀπεκάλυψε διὰ τοῦ ἀγαπητοῦ παιδὸς καὶ ἐφανέρωσε τὰ ἐξ ἀρχῆς ἡτοιμασμένα͵ πάνθ΄ ἅμα παρέσχεν ἡμῖν͵ καὶ μετασχεῖν τῶν εὐεργεσιῶν αὐτοῦ καὶ ἰδεῖν καὶ νοῆσαι͵ ἃ τίς ἂν πώποτε προσεδόκησεν ἡμῶν;

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER IX [THE NEED FOR THE REDEEMER]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As long then as the former time46 endured, He permitted us to be borne along by unruly impulses, being drawn away by the desire of pleasure and various lusts. This was not that He at all delighted in our sins, but that He simply endured them; nor that He approved the time of working iniquity which then was, but that He sought to form a mind conscious of righteousness,47 so that being convinced in that time of our unworthiness of attaining life through our own works, it should now, through the kindness of God, be vouchsafed to us; and having made it manifest that in ourselves we were unable to enter into the kingdom of God, we might through the power of God be made able. But when our wickedness had reached its height, and it had been clearly shown that its reward,48 punishment and death, was impending over us; and when the time had come which God had before appointed for manifesting His own kindness and power, how49 the one love of God, through exceeding regard for men, did not regard us with hatred, nor thrust us away, nor remember our iniquity against us, but showed great long-suffering, and bore with us,50 He Himself took on Him the burden of our iniquities, He gave His own Son as a ransom for us, the holy One for transgressors, the blameless One for the wicked, the righteous One for the unrighteous, the incorruptible One for the corruptible, the immortal One for them that are mortal. For what other thing was capable of covering our sins than His righteousness? By what other one was it possible that we, the wicked and ungodly, could be justified, than by the only Son of God? O sweet exchange! O unsearchable operation! O benefits surpassing all expectation! that the wickedness of many should be hid in a single righteous One, and that the righteousness of One should justify many transgressors!51 Having therefore convinced us in the former time52 that our nature was unable to attain to life, and having now revealed the Saviour who is able to save even those things which it was [formerly] impossible to save, by both these facts He desired to lead us to trust in His kindness, to esteem Him our Nourisher, Father, Teacher, Counsellor, Healer, our Wisdom, Light, Honour, Glory, Power, and Life, so that we should not be anxious53 concerning clothing and food.

9.1 Πάντ΄ οὖν ἤδη παρ΄ ἑαυτῷ σὺν τῷ παιδὶ οἰκονο μηκώς͵ μέχρι μὲν [οὖν] τοῦ πρόσθεν χρόνου εἴασεν ἡμᾶς ὡς ἐβουλόμεθα ἀτάκτοις φοραῖς φέρεσθαι͵ ἡδοναῖς καὶ ἐπιθυμίαις ἀπαγομένους͵ οὐ πάντως ἐφηδόμενος τοῖς ἁμαρτήμασιν ἡμῶν͵ ἀλλ΄ ἀνεχόμενος͵ οὐδὲ τῷ τότε τῆς ἀδικίας καιρῷ συνευδοκῶν͵ ἀλλὰ τὸν νῦν τῆς δικαιοσύνης δημιουργῶν͵ ἵνα ἐν τῷ τότε χρόνῳ ἐλεγχθέντες ἐκ τῶν ἰδίων ἔργων ἀνάξιοι ζωῆς͵ νῦν ὑπὸ τῆς τοῦ Θεοῦ χρηστότητος ἀξιωθῶμεν͵ καὶ τὸ καθ΄ ἑαυτοὺς φανερώσαντες ἀδύνατον εἰσελθεῖν εἰς τὴν βασιλείαν τοῦ Θεοῦ τῇ δυνάμει τοῦ Θεοῦ δυνατοὶ γενηθῶμεν. 9.2 Ἐπεὶ δὲ πεπλήρωτο μὲν ἡ ἡμετέρα ἀδικία͵ καὶ τελείως πεφανέρωτο ὅτι ὁ μισθὸς αὐτῆς κόλασις καὶ θάνατος προσεδοκᾶτο͵ ἦλθε δὲ ὁ καιρὸς ὃν Θεὸς προέθετο λοιπὸν φανερῶσαι τὴν ἑαυτοῦ χρηστότητα καὶ δύναμιν ὢ τῆς ὑπερβαλλούσης φιλανθρωπίας καὶ ἀγάπης τοῦ Θεοῦ· οὐκ ἐμίσησεν ἡμᾶς οὐδὲ ἀπώσατο οὐδὲ ἐμνησικά κησεν͵ ἀλλὰ ἐμακροθύμησεν͵ ἠνέσχετο͵ ἐλεῶν αὐτὸς τὰς ἡμετέρας ἁμαρτίας ἀνεδέξατο͵ αὐτὸς τὸν ἴδιον υἱὸν ἀπέδοτο λύτρον ὑπὲρ ἡμῶν͵ τὸν ἅγιον ὑπὲρ τῶν ἀνόμων͵ τὸν ἄκακον ὑπὲρ τῶν κακῶν͵ τὸν δίκαιον ὑπὲρ τῶν ἀδίκων͵ τὸν ἄφθαρτον ὑπὲρ τῶν φθαρτῶν͵ τὸν ἀθάνατον ὑπὲρ τῶν θνητῶν. 9.3 Τί γὰρ ἄλλο τὰς ἁμαρτίας ἡμῶν ἠδυνήθη καλύψαι ἢ ἐκείνου δικαιοσύνη; 9.4 ἐν τίνι δικαιωθῆναι δυνατὸν τοὺς ἀνόμους ἡμᾶς καὶ ἀσεβεῖς ἢ ἐν μόνῳ τῷ υἱῷ τοῦ Θεοῦ; 9.5 ὢ τῆς γλυκείας ἀνταλλαγῆς͵ ὢ τῆς ἀνεξιχ νιάστου δημιουργίας͵ ὢ τῶν ἀπροσδοκήτων εὐεργεσιῶν· ἵνα ἀνομία μὲν πολλῶν ἐν δικαίῳ ἑνὶ κρυβῇ͵ δικαιοσύνη δὲ ἑνὸς πολλοὺς ἀνόμους δικαιώσῃ. 9.6 Ἐλέγξας οὖν ἐν μὲν τῷ πρόσθεν χρόνῳ τὸ ἀδύνατον τῆς ἡμετέρας φύσεως εἰς τὸ τυχεῖν ζωῆς͵ νῦν δὲ τὸν σωτῆρα δείξας δυνατὸν σῴζειν καὶ τὰ ἀδύνατα͵ ἐξ ἀμφοτέρων ἐβουλήθη πιστεύειν ἡμᾶς τῇ χρηστότητι αὐτοῦ͵ αὐτὸν ἡγεῖσθαι τροφέα͵ πατέρα͵ διδάσκαλον͵ σύμβουλον͵ ἰατρόν͵ νοῦν͵ φῶς͵ τιμήν͵ δόξαν͵ ἰσχύν͵ ζωήν͵ περὶ ἐνδύσεως καὶ τροφῆς μὴ μεριμνᾶν.

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER X.—THE BLESSINGS THAT FLOW FROM FAITH]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you also desire [to possess] this faith, you likewise shall receive first of all the knowledge of the Father.54 For God has loved mankind, on whose account He made the world, to whom He rendered subject all the things that are in it,55 to whom He gave reason and understanding, to whom alone He imparted the privilege of looking upwards to Himself, whom He formed after His own image, to whom He sent His only-begotten Son, to whom He has promised a kingdom in heaven, and will give it to those who have loved Him. And when you have attained this knowledge, with what joy do you think you will be filled? Or, how will you love Him who has first so loved you? And if you love Him, you will be an imitator of His kindness. And do not wonder that a man may become an imitator of God. He can, if he is willing. For it is not by ruling over his neighbours, or by seeking to hold the supremacy over those that are weaker, or by being rich, and showing violence towards those that are inferior, that happiness is found; nor can any one by these things become an imitator of God. But these things do not at all constitute His majesty. On the contrary he who takes upon himself the burden of his neighbour; he who, in whatsoever respect he may be superior, is ready to benefit another who is deficient; he who, whatsoever things he has received from God, by distributing these to the needy, becomes a god to those who receive [his benefits]: he is an imitator of God. Then you shall see, while still on earth, that God in the heavens rules over [the universe]; then you shall begin to speak the mysteries of God; then shall you both love and admire those that suffer punishment because they will not deny God; then shall you condemn the deceit and error of the world when you shall know what it is to live truly in heaven, when you shall despise that which is here esteemed to be death, when you shall fear what is truly death, which is reserved for those who shall be condemned to the eternal fire, which shall afflict those even to the end that are committed to it. Then shall you admire those who for righteousness’ sake endure the fire that is but for a moment, and shall count them happy when you shall know [the nature of] that fire.

10.1 Ταύτην καὶ σὺ τὴν πίστιν ἐὰν ποθήσῃς͵ καὶ λάβῃς πρῶτον μὲν ἐπιγνώσῃ πατέρα. 10.2 Ὁ γὰρ Θεὸς τοὺς ἀνθρώπους ἠγάπησε͵ δι΄ οὓς ἐποίησε τὸν κόσμον͵ οἷς ὑπέταξε πάντα τὰ ἐν τῇ γῇ͵ οἷς λόγον ἔδωκεν͵ οἷς νοῦν͵ οἷς μόνοις ἄνω πρὸς οὐρανὸν ὁρᾶν ἐπέτρεψεν͵ οὓς ἐκ τῆς ἰδίας εἰκόνος ἔπλασε͵ πρὸς οὓς ἀπέστειλε τὸν υἱὸν αὐτοῦ τὸν μονογενῆ͵ οἷς τὴν ἐν οὐρανῷ βασιλείαν ἐπηγγείλατο καὶ δώσει τοῖς ἀγαπήσασιν αὐτόν. 10.3 Ἐπιγνοὺς δέ͵ τίνος οἴει πληρωθήσεσθαι χαρᾶς; ἢ πῶς ἀγαπήσεις τὸν οὕτως προαγα πήσαντά σε; 10.4 ἀγαπήσας δὲ μιμητὴς ἔσῃ αὐτοῦ τῆς χρηστότητος. Καὶ μὴ θαυμάσῃς εἰ δύναται μιμητὴς ἄνθρω πος γενέσθαι Θεοῦ· δύναται͵ θέλοντος αὐτοῦ. 10.5 Οὐ γὰρ τὸ καταδυναστεύειν τῶν πλησίον οὐδὲ τὸ πλέον ἔχειν βούλεσθαι τῶν ἀσθενεστέρων οὐδὲ τὸ πλουτεῖν καὶ βιάζεσθαι τοὺς ὑποδεεστέρους εὐδαιμονεῖν ἐστίν͵ οὐδὲ ἐν τούτοις δύναταί τις μιμήσασθαι Θεόν͵ ἀλλὰ ταῦτα ἐκτὸς τῆς ἐκείνου μεγα λειότητος. 10.6 Ἀλλ΄ ὅστις τὸ τοῦ πλησίον ἀναδέχεται βάρος͵ ὃς ἐν ᾧ κρείσσων ἐστὶν ἕτερον τὸν ἐλαττούμενον εὐεργετεῖν ἐθέλει͵ ὃς ἃ παρὰ τοῦ Θεοῦ λαβὼν ἔχει͵ ταῦτα τοῖς ἐπιδεομένοις χορηγῶν͵ θεὸς γίνεται τῶν λαμβανόντων͵ οὗτος μιμητής ἐστι Θεοῦ. 10.7 Τότε θεάσῃ τυγχάνων ἐπὶ γῆς ὅτι Θεὸς ἐν οὐρανοῖς πολιτεύεται͵ τότε μυστήρια Θεοῦ λαλεῖν ἄρξῃ͵ τότε τοὺς κολαζομένους ἐπὶ τῷ μὴ θέλειν ἀρνήσασθαι Θεὸν καὶ ἀγαπήσεις καὶ θαυμάσεις͵ τότε τῆς ἀπάτης τοῦ κόσμου καὶ τῆς πλάνης καταγνώσῃ͵ ὅταν τὸ ἀληθῶς ἐν οὐρανῷ ζῆν ἐπιγνῷς͵ ὅταν τοῦ δοκοῦντος ἐνθάδε θανάτου καταφρονήσῃς͵ ὅταν τὸν ὄντως θάνατον φοβηθῇς͵ ὃς φυλάσσεται τοῖς κατακριθησομένοις εἰς τὸ πῦρ τὸ αἰώνιον͵ ὃ τοὺς παραδοθέντας αὐτῷ μέχρι τέλους κολάσει. 10.8 Τότε τοὺς ὑπομένοντας ὑπὲρ δικαιοσύνης τὸ πῦρ τοῦτο θαυμάσεις καὶ μακαρίσεις͵ ὅταν ἐκεῖνο τὸ πῦρ ἐπιγνῷς.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER XI.—THESE THINGS ARE WORTHY TO BE KNOWN AND BELIEVED.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I do not speak of things strange to me, nor do I aim at anything inconsistent with right reason;56 but having been a disciple of the Apostles, I am become a teacher of the Gentiles. I minister the things delivered to me to those that are disciples worthy of the truth. For who that is rightly taught and begotten by the loving57 Word, would not seek to learn accurately the things which have been clearly shown by the Word to His disciples, to whom the Word being manifested has revealed them, speaking plainly [to them], not understood indeed by the unbelieving, but conversing with the disciples, who, being esteemed faithful by Him, acquired a knowledge of the mysteries of the Father? For which58 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.59 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 to-day called60 the Son; through whom the Church is enriched, and grace, widely spread, increases in the saints. furnishing understanding, revealing mysteries, announcing times, rejoicing over the faithful. giving61 to those that seek, by whom the limits of faith are not broken through, nor the boundaries set by the fathers passed over. Then the fear of the law is chanted, and the grace of the prophets is known, and the faith of the gospels is established, and the tradition of the Apostles is preserved, and the grace of the Church exults; which grace if you grieve not, you shall know those things which the Word teaches, by whom He wills, and when He pleases. For whatever things we are moved to utter by the will of the Word commanding us, we communicate to you with pains, and from a love of the things that have been revealed to us.

11.1 Οὐ ξένα ὁμιλῶ οὐδὲ παραλόγως ζητῶ͵ ἀλλὰ ἀποσ τόλων γενόμενος μαθητὴς γίνομαι διδάσκαλος ἐθνῶν͵ τὰ παραδοθέντα ἀξίως ὑπηρετῶ γινομένοις ἀληθείας μαθη ταῖς. 11.2 Τίς γὰρ ὀρθῶς διδαχθεὶς καὶ λόγῳ προσφιλεῖ γεννηθεὶς οὐκ ἐπιζητεῖ σαφῶς μαθεῖν τὰ διὰ λόγου δειχθέντα φανερῶς μαθηταῖς; οἷς ἐφανέρωσεν ὁ λόγος φανείς͵ παρ ρησίᾳ λαλῶν͵ ὑπὸ ἀπίστων μὴ νοούμενος͵ μαθηταῖς δὲ διηγούμενος͵ οἳ πιστοὶ λογισθέντες ὑπ΄ αὐτοῦ ἔγνωσαν πατρὸς μυστήρια. 11.3 οὗ χάριν ἀπέστειλε λόγον͵ ἵνα κόσμῳ φανῇ͵ ὃς ὑπὸ λαοῦ ἀτιμασθείς͵ διὰ ἀποστόλων κηρυχθείς͵ ὑπὸ ἐθνῶν ἐπιστεύθη. 11.4 Οὗτος ὁ ἀπ΄ ἀρχῆς͵ ὁ καινὸς φανεὶς καὶ παλαιὸς εὑρεθεὶς καὶ πάντοτε νέος ἐν ἁγίων καρδίαις γεννώμενος. 11.5 Οὗτος ὁ ἀεί͵ ὁ σήμερον υἱὸς λογισθείς͵ δι΄ οὗ πλουτίζεται ἡ ἐκκλησία καὶ χάρις ἁπλουμένη ἐν ἁγίοις πληθύνεται͵ παρέχουσα νοῦν͵ φανεροῦσα μυστήρια͵ διαγγέλλουσα καιρούς͵ χαίρουσα ἐπὶ πιστοῖς͵ ἐπιζητοῦσι δωρουμένη͵ οἷς ὅρκια πίστεως οὐ θραύεται οὐδὲ ὅρια πατέρων παρορίζεται. 11.6 Εἶτα φόβος νόμου ᾄδεται καὶ προφητῶν χάρις γινώσκεται καὶ εὐαγγελίων πίστις ἵδρυται καὶ ἀποστόλων παράδοσις φυλάσσεται καὶ ἐκκλησίας χάρις σκιρτᾷ. 11.7 ῝Ην χάριν μὴ λυπῶν ἐπιγνώσῃ ἃ λόγος ὁμιλεῖ δι΄ ὧν βούλεται͵ ὅτε θέλει. 11.8 ῞οσα γὰρ θελήματι τοῦ κελεύοντος λόγου ἐκινήθημεν ἐξειπεῖν μετὰ πόνου͵ ἐξ ἀγάπης τῶν ἀποκαλυφθέντων ἡμῖν γινόμεθα ὑμῖν κοινωνοί.

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER XII.—THE IMPORTANCE OF KNOWLEDGE TO TRUE SPIRITUAL LIFE.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When you have read and carefully listened to these things, you shall know what God bestows on such as rightly love Him, being made [as you are] a paradise of delight, presenting62 in yourselves a tree bearing all kinds of produce and flourishing well, being adorned with various fruits. For in this place63 the tree of knowledge and the tree of life have been planted; but it is not the tree of knowledge that destroys—it is disobedience that proves destructive. Nor truly are those words without significance which are written, how God from the beginning planted the tree of life in the midst of paradise, revealing through knowledge the way to life,64 and when those who were first formed did not use this [knowledge] properly, they were, through the fraud of the Serpent, stripped naked.65 For neither can life exist without knowledge, nor is knowledge secure without life. Wherefore both were planted close together. The Apostle, perceiving the force [of this conjunction], and blaming that knowledge which, without true doctrine, is admitted to influence life,66 declares, “Knowledge puffs up, but love edifies.” For he who thinks he knows anything without true knowledge, and such as is witnessed to by life, knows nothing, but is deceived by the Serpent, as not67 loving life. But he who combines knowledge with fear, and seeks after life, plants in hope, looking for fruit. Let your heart be your wisdom; and let your life be true knowledge68 inwardly received. Bearing this tree and displaying its fruit, you shall always gather69 in those things which are desired by God, which the Serpent cannot reach, and to which deception does not approach; nor is Eve then corrupted,70 but is trusted as a virgin; and salvation is manifested, and the Apostles are filled with understanding, and the Passover71 of the Lord advances, and the choirs72 are gathered together, and are arranged in proper order, and the Word rejoices in teaching the saints,—by whom the Father is glorified: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.73

12.1 Οἷς ἐντυχόντες καὶ ἀκούσαντες μετὰ σπουδῆς εἴσεσθε ὅσα παρέχει ὁ Θεὸς τοῖς ἀγαπῶσιν ὀρθῶς͵ οἱ γενόμενοι παράδεισος τρυφῆς͵ πάγκαρπον ξύλον͵ εὐθαλοῦν͵ ἀνατείλαντες ἐν ἑαυτοῖς͵ ποικίλοις καρποῖς κεκοσμημένοι. 12.2 Ἐν γὰρ τούτῳ τῷ χωρίῳ ξύλον γνώσεως καὶ ξύλον ζωῆς πεφύτευται· ἀλλ΄ οὐ τὸ τῆς γνώσεως ἀναιρεῖ͵ ἀλλ΄ ἡ παρακοὴ ἀναιρεῖ. Οὐδὲ γὰρ ἄσημα τὰ γεγραμμένα͵ ὡς Θεὸς ἀπ΄ ἀρχῆς ξύλον γνώσεως καὶ ξύλον ζωῆς ἐν μέσῳ παραδείσου ἐφύτευσε͵ διὰ γνώσεως ζωὴν ἐπιδεικνύς. ῟ηι μὴ καθαρῶς χρησάμενοι οἱ ἀπ΄ ἀρχῆς πλάνῃ τοῦ ὄφεως γεγύμνωνται. 12.4 Οὐδὲ γὰρ ζωὴ ἄνευ γνώσεως͵ οὐδὲ γνῶσις ἀσφαλὴς ἄνευ ζωῆς ἀληθοῦς· Διὸ πλησίον ἑκάτερον πεφύτευ ται. 12.5 ῝Ην δύναμιν ἐνιδὼν ὁ ἀπόστολος τήν τε ἄνευ ἀληθείας προστάγματος εἰς ζωὴν ἀσκουμένην γνῶσιν μεμφόμενος λέγει· ἡ γνῶσις φυσιοῖ͵ ἡ δὲ ἀγάπη οἰκοδομεῖ. 12.6 Ὁ γὰρ νομίζων εἰδέναι τι ἄνευ γνώσεως ἀληθοῦς καὶ μαρτυρουμένης ὑπὸ τῆς ζωῆς͵ οὐκ ἔγνω· ὑπὸ τοῦ ὄφεως πλανᾶται͵ μὴ ἀγαπήσας τὸ ζῆν. Ὁ δὲ μετὰ φόβου ἐπιγνοὺς καὶ ζωὴν ἐπιζητῶν ἐπ΄ ἐλπίδι φυτεύει͵ καρπὸν προσδοκῶν. 12.7 ῎ητω σοι καρδία γνῶσις͵ ζωὴ δὲ λόγος ἀληθής͵ χωρούμε νος. 12.8 Οὗ ξύλον φέρων καὶ καρπὸν ἐρῶν τρυγήσεις ἀεὶ τὰ παρὰ Θεῷ ποθούμενα͵ ὧν ὄφις οὐχ ἅπτεται οὐδὲ πλάνη συγχρωτίζεται· οὐδὲ Εὔα φθείρεται͵ ἀλλὰ παρθένος πισ τεύεται. 12.9 Καὶ σωτήριον δείκνυται͵ καὶ ἀπόστολοι συνετί ζονται͵ καὶ τὸ κυρίου πάσχα προέρχεται͵ καὶ καιροὶ συνάγονται καὶ μετὰ κόσμου ἁρμόζεται͵ καὶ διδάσκων ἁγίους ὁ λόγος εὐφραίνεται͵ δι΄ οὗ πατὴρ δοξάζεται· ᾧ ἡ δόξα εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας. Ἀμήν.

 

 

 

 


 

1 Literally, “trusting in what God, etc., they look down.”

2 Or, “life,”

3 Some read, “that you by hearing may be edified.”

4 Or, “purified.”

5 Literally, “which is deceiving.”

6 Literally, “of what substance, or of what form.”

7 Some make this and the following clauses affirmative instead of interrogative.

8 The text is here corrupt. Several attempts at emendation have been made, but wiyout any marked success.

9 Some read, “Who of you would tolerate these things?” etc.

10 The text is here uncertain, and the sense obscure. The meaning seems to be, that by sprinkling their gods with blood, etc., they tended to prove that these were not possessed of sense.

11 The text here is very doubtful. We have followed that adopted by most critics.

12 Otto, residing on ms. authority, omits the negative, but the sense seems to require its insertion.

13 Literally, “lessening.”

14 Comp. Gal. iv. 10.

15 This seems to refer to the practice of Jews in fixing the beginning of the day, and consequently of the Sabbath, from the rising of the stars. They used to say, that when tree stars of moderate magnitude appeared, it was night; when two, it was twilight; and when only one, that day had not yout departed. It thus came to pass (according to their night-day (nucqhmeron) reckoning), that whosoever engaged in work on the evening of Friday, the beginning of the Sabbath, after three stars of moderate size were visible, was held to have sinned, and had to present a trespass-offering; and so on, according to the fanciful rule described.

16 Otto supplies the lacunna which here occurs in the mss. so as to read datadiairein.

17 The great festivals of the Jews are here referred to on the one hand, and the day of atonement on the other.

18 Literally, “paradoxical.”

19 Literally, “cast away foetuses.”

20 Otto omits “bed,” which is an emendation, and gives the second “common” the sense of unclean.

21 Comp. 2 Cor. x. 3.

22 Comp. Phil. iii. 20.

23 Comp. 2 Cor. vi. 9.

24 Comp. 2 Cor. vi. 10.

25 Comp. 2 Cor. iv. 12.

26 John xvii. 11, 14, 16.

27 Comp. 1 Pet. ii. 11.

28 Literally, “keeps together.”

29 Literally, “keeps together.”

30 Literally, “incorruption.”

31 Or, “though punished, increase in number daily.”

32 Literally, “mysteries.”

33 Literally, “elements.”

34 The word “sun,” though omitted in the mss., should manifestly be inserted.

35 Literally, “has received to observe.”

36 Literally, “one of men.”

37 “God” here refers to the person sent.

38 [Comp. Mal. iii. 2. The Old Testament is frequently in mind, if not expressly quoted by Mathetes.] A considerable gap here occurs in the mss.

39 Literally, “these things are the marvels and error.”

40 Or, “known Him.”

41 Comp. Matt. xix. 17.

42 Literally, “in a mystery.”

43 Literally, “all things.”

44 The sense is here very obscure. We have followed the text of Otto, who fills up the lacunna in the ms. as above. Others have, “to see, and to handle Him.”

45 Literally, “economically.”

46 Otto refers for a like contrast between these two times to Rom. iii. 21–26, and Gal. iv. 4. [Comp. Acts xvii. 30.]

47 The reading and sense are doubtful.

48 Both the text and rendering are here somewhat doubtful, but the sense will in any case be much the same.

49 Many variations here occur in the way in which the lacunna of the mss. is to be supplied. They do not, however, greatly affect the meaning.

50 In the ms. “saying” is here inserted, as if the words had been regarded as a quotation from Isa. liii. 11.

51 [See Bossuet, who quotes it as from Justin Martyr (Tom. iii. p. 171). Sermon on Circumcision.]

52 That is, before Christ appeared.

53 Comp. Matt. vi. 25, etc. [Mathetes, in a single sentence, expounds a most practical text with comprehensive views.]

54 Thus Otto supplies the lacunna; others conjecture somewhat different supplements.

55 So Bööhl. Sylburgius and Otto read, “in the earth.”

56 Some render, “nor do I rashly seek to persuade others.”

57 Some propose to read, “and becoming a friend to the Word.”

58 It has been proposed to connect this with the preceding sentence, and read, “have known the mysteries of the Father, viz., for what purpose He sent the Word.”

59 [Comp. 1 Tim. iii. 16.]

60 Or, “esteemed.”

61 Or, “given.”

62 Literally, “bringing forth.”

63 That is, in Paradise.

64 Literally “revealing life.”

65 Or, “deprived of it.”

66 Literally, “knowledge wiyout the truth of a command exercised to life.” See 1 Cor. viii. 1.

67 The ms. is here defective. Some read, “on account of the love of life.”

68 Or, “true word,” or “reason.”

69 Or, “reap.”

70 The meaning seems to be, that if the tree of true knowledge and life be planted within you, you shall continue free from blemishes and sins.

71 [This looks like a reference to the Apocalypse, Rev. v. 9., xix. 7., xx. 5.]

72 Here Bishop Wordsworth would read klhroi, cites 1 Pet. v. 3, and refers to Suicer (Lexicon) in voce klhro".]

73 [Note the Clement-like doxology.]

 



xcxxcxxcc  F ” “ This Webpage was created for a workshop held at Saint Andrew's Abbey, Valyermo, California in 2005

....x....   “”.