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ANF04. Fathers of the Third Century: Tertullian, Part Fourth; Minucius Felix; Commodian; Origen, Parts First and Second
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Chapter IX.

The Jew continues his discourse thus:  “How should we deem him to be a God, who not only in other respects, as was currently reported, performed none of his promises, but who also, after we had convicted him, and condemned him as deserving of punishment, was found attempting to conceal himself, and endeavouring to escape in a most disgraceful manner, and who was betrayed by those whom he called disciples?  And yet,” he continues, “he who was a God could neither flee nor be led away a prisoner; and least of all could he be deserted and delivered up by those who had been his associates, and had shared all things in common, and had had him for their teacher, who was deemed to be a Saviour, and a son of the greatest God, and an angel.”  To which we reply, that even we do not suppose the body of Jesus, which was then an object of sight and perception, to have been God.  And why do I say His body?  Nay, not even His soul, of which it is related, “My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death.”32353235    Matt. xxvi. 38.  But as, according to the Jewish manner of speaking, “I am the Lord, the God of all flesh,” and, “Before Me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after Me,” God is believed to be He who employs the soul and body of the prophet as an instrument; and as, according to the Greeks, he who says,

“I know both the number of the sand, and the measures of the sea,

And I understand a dumb man, and hear him who does not speak,”32363236    Herodot., i. cap. 47.

is considered to be a god when speaking, and making himself heard through the Pythian priestess; so, according to our view, it was the Logos God, and Son of the God of all things, who spake in Jesus these words, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life;” and these, “I am the door;” and these, “I am the living bread that came down from heaven;” and other expressions similar to these.  We therefore charge the Jews with not acknowledging Him to be God, to whom testimony was borne in many passages by the prophets, to the effect that He was a mighty power, and a God next to32373237    καὶ Θεὸν κατὰ τὸν τῶν ὅλων Θεὸν καὶ πατέρα.  “Ex mente Origenis, inquit Boherellus, vertendum ‘Secundo post universi Deum atque parentem loco;” non cum interprete Gelenio, ‘Ipsius rerum universarum Dei atque Parentis testimonio.’  Nam si hic esset sensus, frustra post ὑπὸ τῶν προφητῶν, adderetur κατὰ τὸν Θεόν.  Præterea, hæc epitheta, τὸν τῶν ὅλων Θεὸν καὶ πατέρα, manifestam continent antithesin ad ista, μεγάλην ὄντα δύναμιν καὶ Θεόν, ut Pater supra Filium evehatur, quemadmodum evehitur, ab Origene infra libro octavo, num. 15.  Τοῦ, κατά, inferiorem ordinem denotantis exempla afferre supersedeo, cum obvia sint.”—Ruæus.  [See also Liddon’s Bampton Lectures on The Divinity of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, p. 414, where he says, “Origen maintains Christ’s true divinity against the contemptuous criticisms of Celsus” (book ii. 9, 16, seq.; vii. 53, etc.).  S.] the God and Father of all things.  For we assert that it was to Him the Father gave the command, when in the Mosaic account of the creation He uttered the words, “Let there be light,” and “Let there be a firmament,” and gave the injunctions with regard to those other creative acts which were performed; and that to Him also were addressed the words, “Let Us make man in Our own image and likeness;” and that the Logos, when commanded, obeyed all the Father’s will.  And we make these statements not from our own conjectures, but because we believe the prophecies circulated among the Jews, in which it is said of God, and of the works of creation, in express words, as follows:  “He spake, and they were made; He commanded, and they were created.”32383238    Ps. cxlviii. 5.  Now if God gave the command, and the creatures were formed, who, according to the view of the spirit of prophecy, could He be that was able to carry out such commands of the Father, save Him who, so to speak, is the living Logos and the Truth?  And that the Gospels do not consider him who in Jesus said these words, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life,” to have been of so circumscribed a nature32393239    περιγεγραμμένον τινά. as to have an existence nowhere out of the soul and body of Jesus, is evident both from many considerations, and from a few instances of the following kind which we shall quote.  John the Baptist, when predicting that the Son of God was to appear immediately, not in that body and soul, but as manifesting Himself everywhere, says regarding Him:  “There stands in the midst of you One whom ye know not, who cometh after me.”32403240    John i. 26.  For if he had thought that the Son of God was only there, where was the visible body of Jesus, how could he have said, “There stands in the midst of you One whom ye know not?”  And Jesus Himself, in raising the minds of His disciples to higher thoughts of the Son of God, says:  “Where two or three are gathered together in My name, there am I in the midst of you.”32413241    Matt. xviii. 20.  And of the same nature is His promise to His disciples:  “Lo, I am with you alway, even to the end of the world.”32423242    Matt. xxviii. 20.  And we quote these passages, making no distinction between the Son of God and Jesus.  For the soul and body of Jesus formed, after the οἰκονομία , one being with the Logos of God.  Now if, according to Paul’s teaching, “he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit,”32433243    1 Cor. vi. 17. every one who understands what being joined to the Lord is, and who has been actually joined to Him, is one spirit with the Lord; how should not that being be one in a far greater and more divine degree, which was once united with the Logos of God?32443244    εἰ γὰρ κατὰ τὴν Παύλου διδασκαλίαν, λέγοντος· “ὁ κολλώμενος τῷ κυρίῳ, ἓν πνεῦμά ἐστι·”  πᾶς ὁ νοησας τί τὸ κολλᾶσθαι τῷ κυρίῳ, καὶ κολληθεὶς αὐτῷ, ἕν ἐστι πνεῦμα πρὸς τὸν κύριον· πῶς οὐ πολλῷ μᾶλλον θειοτέρως καὶ μειζόνως ἕν ἐστι τό ποτε σύνθετον πρὸς τὸν λόγον τοῦ Θεοῦ;  He, indeed, manifested Himself among the Jews as the power of God, by the miracles which He performed, which Celsus suspected were accomplished by sorcery, but which by the Jews of that time were attributed I know not why, to Beelzebub, in the words:  “He casteth out devils through Beelzebub, the prince of the devils.”32453245    Matt. xii. 24.  But these our Saviour convicted of uttering the greatest absurdities, from the fact that the kingdom of evil was not yet come to an end.  And this will be evident to all intelligent readers of the Gospel narrative, which it is not now the time to explain.


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