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Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol III:
Tertullian: Part II: Less Reprehensible Theories in the Heresy. Bad is the Best of Valentinianism.

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter XXXVI.—Less Reprehensible Theories in the Heresy.  Bad is the Best of Valentinianism.

How much more sensible are they who, rejecting all this tiresome nonsense, have refused to believe that any one Æon has descended from another by steps like these, which are really neither more nor less Gemonian6920 but that on a given signal 6921 the eight-fold emanation, of which we have heard, 6922 issued all at once from the Father and His Ennœa (Thought), 6923 —that it is, in fact, from His mere motion that they gain their designations. When, as they say, He thought of producing offspring, He on that account gained the name of Father. After producing, because the issue which He produced was true, He received the name of Truth. When He wanted Himself to be manifested, He on that account was announced as Man. Those, moreover, whom He preconceived in His thought when He produced them, were then designated the Church. As man, He uttered p. 520 His Word; and so this Word is His first-begotten Son, and to the Word was added Life. And by this process the first Ogdoad was completed. However, the whole of this tiresome story is utterly poor and weak.


Footnotes

519:6920

The “Gemonian steps” on the Aventine led to the Tiber, to which the bodies of executed criminals were dragged by hooks, to be cast into the river.

519:6921

Mappa, quod aiunt, missa: a proverbial expression.

519:6922

Istam.

519:6923

See above, ch. vii. p. 506.


Next: Other Turgid and Ridiculous Theories About the Origin of the Æons and Creation, Stated and Condemned.

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