Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol VIII:Early Church Fathers Index Previous Next
Pseudo-Clementine Literature.: Chapter IX
Chapter IX.—Theories in Regard to the Origin of the Devil.
“But, as you said, if the evil one is created either he has been begotten as an animal, or he has been sent forth substantially by Him, 1424 or he has been compounded externally, or his will has arisen through composition; or it happened that he came into existence from things non-existent, without composition and the will of God; or he has been made by God from that which in no manner and nowhere exists; or the matter, being lifeless or living, from which he has arisen was outside of God; or he fashioned himself, or he was made by God, or he is a relative thing, or he ever existed: for we cannot say that he does not exist, since we have agreed in thinking that he does exist.” And Simon said: “Well have you distinguished all the methods of accounting for his existence in a summary manner. Now it is my part to examine these various ideas, and to show that the Creator is blameable. But it is your business to prove, as you promised, that he is free from all blame. But I wonder if you will be able. For, first, if the devil has been begotten from God as an animal, the vice which is his is accordingly the same as that of him who sends him forth.” And Peter said: “Not at all. For we see many men who are good the fathers of wicked children, and others who are wicked the fathers of good children, and others again who are wicked producing both good and wicked 1425 children, and others who are good having both wicked and good children. For instance, the first man who was created produced the unrighteous Cain and the righteous Abel.” To this Simon said: “You are acting foolishly, in using human examples when discoursing about God.” And Peter said: “Speak you, then, to us about God without using human examples, and yet so that what you say can be understood; but you are not able to do so.
The text here is evidently corrupt in many places. If the reading “by him” is to be retained, we must suppose, with Wieseler, that “by God” is omitted in the previous clause. Probably it should be, “by himself.”333:1425
“And bad” is not in the mss., but is required by the context.
Next: Chapter X
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