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Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol VIII:
Pseudo-Clementine Literature.: Chapter XIII

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter XIII.—The Evidence of the Senses Contrasted with that from Supernatural Vision.

Simon, on hearing this, interrupted him, and said:  “I know against whom you are making these remarks; but in order that I may not spend any time in discussing subjects which I do not wish to discuss, repeating the same statements to refute you, reply to that which is concisely stated by us.  You professed that you had well understood the doctrines and deeds 1346 of your teacher because you saw them before you with your own eyes, 1347 and heard them with your p. 322 own ears, and that it is not possible for any other to have anything similar by vision or apparition.  But I shall show that this is false.  He who hears any one with his own ears, is not altogether fully assured of the truth of what is said; for his mind has to consider whether he is wrong or not, inasmuch as he is a man as far as appearance goes.  But apparition not merely presents an object to view, but inspires him who sees it with confidence, for it comes from God.  Now reply first to this.” 1348



Doctrines and deeds; lit., the things of your teacher.


The mss. have here ἐνεργείᾳ, “activity.”  This has been amended into ἐναργείᾳ, “with plainness, with distinctness.”  ᾽Ενάργεια is used throughout in opposition to ὀπτασία, ὅραμα, and ἐνύπνιον, and means the act of seeing and hearing by our own senses in plain daylight, when to doubt the fact observed is to doubt the senses; ὀπτασία is apparition or vision in ecstasy, or some extraordinary way but that of sleep; ὅραμα and ἐνύπνιον are restricted to visions in sleep.  The last term implies this.  The first means simply “a thing seen.”


[Comp. Recognitions, ii. 50, 51, 61–65.  The emphasis laid upon supernatural visions in the remainder of the Homily has been supposed to convey an insinuation against the revelations to the Apostle Paul.—R.]

Next: Chapter XIV

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