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Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Vol. IV:
Writings in Connection with the Manichæan Controversy.: Chapter 39

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter 39.—In What Sense Evils are from God.

45.  Not only is it written in the Old Testament, "I make good, and create evil;" 289 but more clearly in the New Testament, where the Lord says, "Fear not them which kill the body, and have no more that they can do; but fear him who, after he has killed the body, has power to cast the soul into hell." 290   And that to voluntary corruption penal corruption is added in the divine judgment, is plainly declared by the Apostle Paul, when he says, "The temple of God is holy, which temple ye are; whoever corrupts the temple of God, him will God corrupt." 291   If this had been said in the Old Law, how vehemently would the Manichæans have denounced it as making God a corrupter!  And from fear of the word, many Latin translators make it, "him shall God destroy," instead of corrupt, avoiding the offensive word without any change of meaning.  Although these would inveigh against any passage in the Old Law or the prophets if God was called in it a destroyer.  But the Greek original here shows that corrupt is the true word; for it is written distinctly, "Whoever corrupts the temple of God, him will God corrupt."  If the Manichæans are asked to explain the words, they will say, to escape making God a corrupter, that corrupt here means to give over to corruption, or some such explanation.  Did they read the Old Law in this spirit, they would both find many admirable things in it; and instead of spitefully attacking passages which they did not understand, they would reverently postpone the inquiry.


Footnotes

149:289

Ps. xlv. 7.

149:290

Matt. 10:28, Luke 12:4.

149:291

1 Cor. iii. 17.


Next: Chapter 40

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