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ANF08. The Twelve Patriarchs, Excerpts and Epistles, The Clementia, Apocrypha, Decretals, Memoirs of Edessa and Syriac Documents, Remains of the First
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Chapter VIII.—A Challenge.

I answered:  “I accept, indeed, your kindly affection towards me, but I take exception to your ignorance.  For your affection is kindly, because you wish to continue in those customs which you consider to be good.  But your inaccurate knowledge strives to lay a snare for me, under the guise of friendship.”  Then said Appion:  “Does it seem to you to be ignorance, that one should observe the customs of his fathers, and judge after the manner of the Greeks?”  Then I answered:  “It behoves one who desires to be pious not altogether to observe the customs of his fathers; but to observe them if they be pious, and to shake them off if they be impious.  For it is possible that one who is the son of an impious father, if he wishes to be pious, should not desire to follow the religion of his father.”10341034    We have adopted the emendation of Wieseler, who reads σεβάσματι for σεβάσματα.  He also proposes ἔθει (habit) instead of σεβάσματι .  The readings in the mss. vary.  Then answered Appion:  “What then?  Do you say that your father was a man of an evil life?”  Then said I:  “He was not of an evil life, but of an evil opinion.”  Then Appion:  “I should like to know what was his evil apprehension.”  Then said I:  “Because he believed the false and wicked myths of the Greeks.”  Then Appion asked:  “What are these false and evil myths of the Greeks?”  Then I said:  “The wrong opinion concerning the gods, which, if you will bear with me, you shall hear, with those who are desirous to learn.


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