Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol III:Early Church Fathers Index Previous Next
Tertullian: Part II: Marcion's Object in Adulterating the Gospel. No Difference Between the Christ of the Creator and the Christ of the Gospel. No Rival Christ Admissible. The Connection of the True Christ with the Dispensation of the Old Testament Asserted.
Chapter VI.—Marcions Object in Adulterating the Gospel. No Difference Between the Christ of the Creator and the Christ of the Gospel. No Rival Christ Admissible. The Connection of the True Christ with the Dispensation of the Old Testament Asserted.
But we now advance a step further on, and challenge (as we promised to do) the very Gospel of Marcion, with the intention of thus proving that it has been adulterated. For it is certain 3620 that the whole aim at which he has strenuously laboured even in the drawing up of his Antitheses, centres in this, that he may establish a diversity between the Old and the New Testaments, so that his own Christ may be separate from the Creator, as belonging to this rival god, and as alien from the law and the prophets. It is certain, also, that with this view 3621 he has erased everything that was contrary to his own opinion and made for the Creator, as if it had been interpolated by His advocates, whilst everything which agreed with his own opinion he has retained. The latter statements we shall strictly examine; 3622 and if they shall turn out rather for our side, and shatter the assumption of Marcion, we shall embrace them. It will then become evident, that in retaining them he has shown no less of the defect of blindness, which characterizes heresy, than he displayed when he erased all the former class of subjects. Such, then, is to be 3623 the drift and form of my little treatise; subject, of course, to whatever condition may have become requisite on both sides of the question. 3624 Marcion has laid down the position, that Christ who in the days of Tiberius was, by a previously unknown god, revealed for the salvation of all nations, is a different being from Him who was ordained by God the Creator for the restoration of the Jewish state, and who is yet to come. Between these he interposes the separation of 3625 a great and absolute difference—as great as lies between what is just and what is good; 3626 as great as lies between the law and the gospel; as great, (in short,) as is the difference between Judaism and Christianity. Hence will arise also our rule, 3627 by which we determine 3628 that there ought to be nothing in common between the Christ of the rival god and the Creator; but that (Christ) must be pronounced to belong to the Creator, 3629 if He has administered His dispensations, fulfilled His prophecies, promoted 3630 His laws, given reality to 3631 His promises, revived His mighty power, 3632 remoulded His determinations, 3633 expressed His attributes, His properties. This law and this rule I earnestly request the reader to have ever in his mind, and so let him begin to investigate whether Christ be Marcions or the Creators.
Certe, for certo.351:3621
This seems to be the sense of the words, “sub illa utique conditione quæ ex utraque parte condicta sit.”351:3625
That is, between what is severe and judicial and punitive on one side, that is, the Creators; and what is mild, merciful, and forgiving, on the other, that is, the Redeemers side (Rigalt.).351:3627
Restauraverit virtutes ejus.351:3633
Next: Marcion Rejected the Preceding Portion of St. Luke's Gospel. Therefore This Review Opens with an Examination of the Case of the Evil Spirit in the Synagogue of Capernaum. He Whom the Demon Acknowledged Was the Creator's Christ.
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