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

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter XIII.—The Contradictions of the Scriptures Intended to Try Those Who Read Them.

And Peter answered: 1292   “If the Scriptures or prophets speak of gods, they do so to try those who hear.  For thus it is written: 1293   ‘If there arise among you a prophet, giving signs and wonders, and that sign and wonder shall then come to pass, and he say to thee, Let us go after and worship other gods which thy fathers have not known, ye 1294 shall not hearken to the words of that prophet; let thy hands be among the first to stone him.  For he hath tried to turn thee from the Lord thy God.  But if thou say in thy heart, How did he do that sign or wonder? thou shalt surely know that he who tried thee, tried thee to see if thou dost fear the Lord thy God.’  The words ‘he who tried thee, tried thee,’ have reference to the earliest times; 1295 but it appears to be otherwise after the removal to Babylon.  For God, who knows all things, would not, as can be proved by many arguments, try in order that He Himself might know, for He fore-knows all things.  But, if you like, let us discuss this point, and I shall show that God foreknows.  But it has been proved that the opinion is false that He does not know, and that this was written to try us.  Thus we, Simon, can be led astray 1296 neither by the Scriptures nor by any one else; nor are we deceived into the admission of many gods, nor do we agree to any statement that is made against God.



[On the theory of the Scriptures which is here set forth, compare ii. 38, etc., iii. 42, etc.—R.]


Deut. xiii. 1 ff.


The change from the singular to the plural is in the Greek.


Lit., “But it had been said that he who tried, tried.”  The idea seems to be, Before the removal to Babylon true prophets tested the people by urging them to worship these gods; but after that event false prophets arose who really wished to seduce the Jews from the worship of the true God.


Lit., “nor can we be made to stumble from the Scriptures nor by any one or anything else.”

Next: Chapter XIV