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Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol III:
Tertullian: Part II: Origin of the Devil, in the Criminal Excess of the Sorrow of Achamoth. The Devil, Called Also Munditenens, Actually Wiser Than the Demiurge, Although His Work.

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter XXII.—Origin of the Devil, in the Criminal Excess of the Sorrow of Achamoth. The Devil, Called Also Munditenens, Actually Wiser Than the Demiurge, Although His Work.

The odium felt amongst them 6830 against the devil is the more excusable, 6831 even because the peculiarly sordid character of his origin justifies it. 6832 For he is supposed by them to have had his origin in that criminal excess 6833 of her 6834 sorrow, from which they also derive the birth of the angels, and demons, and all the wicked spirits. Yet they affirm that the devil is the work of the Demiurge, and they call him Munditenens 6835 (Ruler of the World), and maintain that, as he is of a spiritual nature, he has a better knowledge of the things above than the Demiurge, an animal being. He deserves from them the pre-eminence which all heresies provide him with.


Footnotes

514:6830

Infamia apud illos.

514:6831

Tolerabilior.

514:6832

Capit: “capax est,” nimirum “infamiæ” (Fr. Junius).

514:6833

Ex nequitia.

514:6834

Achamoth’s.

514:6835

Irenæus’ word is Κοσμοκράτωρ; see also Eph. vi. 12.


Next: The Relative Positions of the Pleroma. The Region of Achamoth, and the Creation of the Demiurge. The Addition of Fire to the Various Elements and Bodies of Nature.

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