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ANF01. The Apostolic Fathers with Justin Martyr and Irenaeus
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Chapter CXXIV.—Christians are the sons of God.

And when I saw that they were perturbed because I said that we are the sons of God, I anticipated their questioning, and said, “Listen, sirs, how the Holy Ghost speaks of this people, saying that they are all sons of the Highest; and how this very Christ will be present in their assembly, rendering judgment to all men. The words are spoken by David, and are, according to your version of them, thus: ‘God standeth in the congregation of gods; He judgeth among the gods. How long do ye judge unjustly, and accept the persons of the wicked? Judge for the orphan and the poor, and do justice to the humble and needy. Deliver the needy, and save the poor out of the hand of the wicked. They know not, neither have they understood; they walk on in darkness: all the foundations of the earth shall be shaken. I said, Ye are gods, and are all children of the Most High. But ye die like men, and fall like one of the princes. Arise, O God! judge the earth, for Thou shalt inherit all nations.’24332433    Ps. lxxxii. But in the version of the Seventy it is written, ‘Behold, ye die like men, and fall like one of the princes,’24342434    In the text there is certainly no distinction given. But if we read ὡς ἄνθρωπος (כְּאָדָם), “as a man,” in the first quotation we shall be able to follow Justin’s argument. in order to manifest the disobedience of men,—I mean of Adam and Eve,—and the fall of one of the princes, i.e., of him who was called the serpent, who fell with a great overthrow, because he deceived Eve. But as my discourse is not intended to touch on this point, but to prove to you that the Holy Ghost reproaches men because they were made like God, free from suffering and death, provided that they kept His commandments, and were deemed deserving of the name of His sons, and yet they, becoming like Adam and Eve, work out death for themselves; let the interpretation of the Psalm be held just as you wish, yet thereby it is demonstrated that all men are deemed worthy of becoming “gods,” and of having power to become sons of the Highest; and shall be each by himself judged and condemned like Adam and Eve. Now I have proved at length that Christ is called God.


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