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Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol III:
Tertullian: Part II: Blasphemous Opinion Concerning the Origin of the Demiurge, Supposed to Be the Creator of the Universe.

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter XVIII.—Blasphemous Opinion Concerning the Origin of the Demiurge, Supposed to Be the Creator of the Universe.

Having become a better proficient 6799 in practical conduct by the authority which, we may well suppose, 6800 accrued to her from her three children, she determined to impart form to each of the natures. The spiritual one however, she was unable to touch, inasmuch as she was herself spiritual. For a participation in the same nature has, to a very great extent, 6801 disqualified like and consubstantial beings from having superior power over one another. Therefore 6802 she applies herself solely to the animal nature, adducing the instructions of Soter 6803 (for her guidance). And first of all (she does) what cannot be described and read, and heard of, without an intense horror at the blasphemy thereof: she produces this God of ours, the God of all except of the heretics, the Father and Creator 6804 and King of all things, which are inferior to him. For from him do they proceed. If, however, they proceed from him, and not rather from Achamoth, or if only secretly from her, without his perceiving her, he was impelled to all that he did, even like a puppet 6805 which is moved from the outside. In fact, it was owing to this very ambiguity about the personal agency in the works which were done, that they coined for him the mixed name of (Motherly Father), 6806 whilst his other appellations were distinctly assigned according to the conditions and positions of his works:  so that they call him Father in relation to the animal substances to which they give the place of honour 6807 on his right hand; whereas, in respect of the material substances which they banish 6808 to his left hand, they name him Demiurgus; whilst his title King designates his authority over both classes, nay over the universe. 6809


Footnotes

513:6799

Exercitior.

513:6800

Scilicet.

513:6801

Fere.

513:6802

Eo animo.

513:6803

See above, chap. xvi. p. 512.

513:6804

Demiurgum.

513:6805

Et velut sigillario. “Sigillarium est νευρόσπαστον,” Oehler.

513:6806

The Father acting through and proceeding from his Mother.

513:6807

Commendant.

513:6808

Delegant.

513:6809

Communiter in universitatem.


Next: Palpable Absurdities and Contradictions in the System Respecting Achamoth and the Demiurge.

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