Chapter III

Second Century. West



Born into a pagan Greek family living in Flavia Neapolis (Nabius) in Palestine, Justin, after exploring several pagan philosophies of the day, converted to Christianity ca. 130. He taught philosophy at Ephesus and elsewhere, eventually arriving in Rome, where he established a school of Christian philosophy—one of his pupils being Tatian the Syrian. With six of his disciples he was denounced as a Christian ca. 165. Refusing to sacrifice, Justin and his companions were scourged and then beheaded under the prefect Junius Rusticus (163–67).

Justin is one of the most important of the early Church’s apologists, namely, authors writing in defense of Christianity especially during the second and third centuries. He was the first Christian author to use Aristotelian categories to establish a bridge between faith and reason, at times doing so with less than notable literary skill. Although Justin was a prolific writer, only a handful of his works have survived.

CPG 1: nos. 1073ff. * Altaner (1961) 120–27 * Altaner (1966) 65–71 * Bardenhewer (1908) 49–57 * Bardenhewer (1910) 38–46 * Bardenhewer (1913) 1:190–242 * Bardy (1929) 30–33 * Bautz 3:888–95 * Cross 48–53 * Goodspeed 101–5 * Hamell 38–42 * Jurgens 1:50–64 * Leigh-Bennett 40–54 * Quasten 1:197–219 * Steidle 26–28 * Tixeront 35–40 * Wright (1932) 249–50 * CATH 6:1325–28 * CE 8:580–86 * CHECL 38–40 * DCB 3:560–87 * DictSp 8:1640–47 * DPAC 2:1628–32 * DTC 8.2:2228–77 * EC 6:841–45 * EEC 1:462–64 * EEChr 1:647–50 * LTK 5:1112–13 * NCE 8:94–95 * NCES 8:93–95 * ODCC 915 * PEA (1894) 10.2:1332–37 * PEA (1991) 6:106–8 * RACh 19:802–47 * TRE 17:471–78

A. Harnack, Brot und Wasser die eucharistichen Elemente bei Justin, TU 7, 2 (Leipzig, 1891). * F.X. Funk, Die Abendmahlselemente der Eucharistie in den ersten drei Jahrhunderten, FLDG 3, 4 (Mainz, 1903). * P. Batiffol, L’Eucharistie: la présence réelle et la transubstantiation, Etudes d’histoire de théologie positive, 2nd ser. (Paris, 1906). * J. Réville, “Les origines de l’eucharistie (messe-Sainte-Cène),” RHE 56 (1907) 1–56, 141–96. * M. Goguel, L’eucharistie des origines à Justin Martyr (Paris, 1909). * S. Salaville, “La liturgie décrit par s. Justin et l’épiclèse,” EO 12 (1909) 129–36, 222–27. * F. Wieland, Der vorirenäische Opferbegriff (Munich, 1909). * L. Labauche, “Lettres à un étudiant sur la sainte eucharistie,” RAp 11 (1910–11) 753–61. * E. Dorsch, Der Opfercharakter der Eucharistie einst und jetzt, 2nd ed. (Innsbruck, 1911). * O. Casel, “Die Eucharistielehre des hl. Justinus Martyr,” Der Katholik 94 (1914) 153–76, 243–63, 331–55, 414–36. * J. Brinktrine, Der Messopferbegriff in den ersten zwei Jahrhundert, FThSt 21, 85–105 (Freiburg i. B., 1918). * J.B. Thibaut, La liturgie Romaine (Paris, 1924) 38–56. * J.N. Greiff, “Brot, Wasser und Mischwein die Elemente der Taufmesse,” ThQ 113 (1932) 11–34. * B. Capelle, “L’histoire des rites et la participation active à la messe,” QLP 18 (1933) 169–82. * J. Quasten, Monumenta Eucharistica et Liturgica Vetustissima (Bonn, 1935–37) 13–21, 337–39. * J. Beran, “Quo sensu intelligenda sint verba S. Justini Martyris ὃση δύναμις αύτῷ in I Apologia, n. 67,” DT 39 (1936) 46–55. * M.H. Shepherd, “The Early Apologists and Christian Worship,” JR 18 (1938) 60–79. * O. Peler, “Logos und Eucharistie nach Justinus I Apol. c. 66,” DT 18 (1940) 296–316. * St. Morson, “St. Justin and the Eucharist,” IER 79 (1943) 323–28. * O. del N. Jesús, “Doctrina eucarística de San Justino, filósofo y mártir,” RET 4 (1944) 3–58. * E.C. Ratcliff, “Justin Martyr and Confirmation,” Theol 51 (1948) 133–39. * A.H. Couratin, “Justin Martyr and Confirmation—a Note,” Theol 55 (1950) 458–60. * H.B. Porter, “The Eucharistic Piety of Justin Martyr,” AThR 39 (1957) 24–33. * E. Ferguson, “The Ministry of the Word in the First Two Centuries,” ResQ 1 (1957) 21–31. * Jungmann (1951), vol. 1, 22ff. * Jungmann (1959) 13ff. * D. Barsotti, “L’Eucarestia come mistero d’unità e d’amore nei primi scrittori cristiani,” RivAM 5 (1960) 109–17. * C.I.K. Story, “Justin’s Apology I, 62–64: Its Importance for the Author’s Treatment of Christian Baptism,” VC 16 (1962) 172–78. * B. Neunheuser, Baptism and Confirmation (St. Louis, 1964) 55–56, 61–62. * W.L. Dulière, “Un problème à résoudre: L’acceptation du sang eucharistique par les premiers chrétiens juifs,” STh 20 (1966) 62–93. * J.A. Gill, “A Liturgical Fragment in Justin, Dialogue 29, 1,” HThR 59 (1966) 98–100. * E.C. Ratcliff, “The Eucharistic Institution Narrative of Justin Martyr’s First Apology,” JEH 22 (1971) 97–102. * A. Hamman, “Valeur et signification des reseignements liturgiques de Justin,” SP 13.2, 364–74; TU 116 (Berlin, 1975). * J.D.B. Hamilton, “The Church and the Language of Mystery: The First Four Centuries,” ETL 53 (1977) 479–94. * M. Jourjon, “Justin” in W. Rordorf and others, The Eucharist of the Early Christians (New York, 1978) 71–85. * T. Marsh, “The History of the Sacramental Concept,” MilS 3 (1979) 21–56. * S. Agrelo, “El ‘Logos’, potencia divina que hace la Eucaristía: testimonia de s. Justino,” Ant 60 (1985) 602–63. * G.W. Lathrop, “Justin, Eucharist and ‘Sacrifice’: A Case of Metaphor,” Wor 64 (1990) 30–48. * G.A. Nocilli, La catechesi battesimale ed eucaristica di San Giustino Martire (Bologna, 1990). * E. Ferguson, “Justin Martyr and the Liturgy,” ResQ 36 (1994) 267–78. * A.B. McGowan, “‘Is There a Liturgical Text in This Gospel?’ The Institution Narratives and Their Early Interpretive Communities,” JBL 118 (1999) 73–87.

14-A. Apology I

Written in Rome ca. 155, this apology, sixty-eight chapters in length, was addressed to the emperor Antoninus and his two adopted sons.

LXI. I will now explain to you how we are renewed by Christ and consecrated to God. Should I fail to do this, I would be amiss in my explanation. As many persons as are persuaded and believe that what we describe and teach are true and are able to live accordingly, these we teach how to pray and, while fasting, how to ask God that their past sins be forgiven; we pray and fast. Then we bring them to a place where there is water, and they are reborn in the same manner whereby we were reborn; they are washed in the water in the name of the Father, the Lord of all things, and of our Savior Jesus Christ and of the Holy Spirit,1 for Christ said, “Unless you are reborn, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.”2 It is clear to all that it is impossible for those who have been born to enter one’s mother’s womb. For this reason the prophet Isaiah, as we wrote above, relates how the sins of those doing penance are remitted. He writes: “Wash. Cleanse yourselves. Remove what is evil from your souls. Learn how to do good. Judge the fatherless. Defend the widow. Then come, let us reason together, says the Lord. Even though your sins be like purple, I will make them white as wool. Though they be scarlet, I will make them as white as snow. If you do not listen to me, the sword will devour you because all this is what the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”3 We have received from the apostles the reason for this [washing]. When we were first born, we were born without our knowing it, by our parents coming together. We were raised in bad and evil habits. So that we not remain children of necessity or of ignorance but may become children of choice and understanding and so that we may gain the forgiveness of our past sins, the name of the Father and Lord of all things is invoked over those who now choose to be born again and have repented of their sins. Whoever leads the person to be baptized to the washing calls upon God by this name only since no one is allowed to pronounce the name of the ineffable God. Those boldly venturing to do so are hopelessly insane. Illumination is the name given to this washing since those being taught these things are enlightened [illuminated] in their minds. We also invoke upon these people the name of Jesus Christ who suffered crucifixion under Pontius Pilate; also the name of the Holy Spirit who foretold through the prophets all things concerning Jesus. (243)

LXV. But after we have washed those who have believed and have joined us, we bring them to where those who are called brethren have assembled. In this way we may offer prayer in common both for ourselves and for those who have received illumination and for people everywhere, doing so with all our hearts so that we may be deemed worthy, now that we have learned the truth, and by our works be found to be good citizens and keepers of the commandments. In this way we may attain everlasting salvation. When the prayers have concluded, we greet one another with a kiss. Then bread and a cup containing water and wine are brought to him who presides over the assembly. He takes these and then gives praise and glory to the Father of all things through the name of his Son and of the Holy Spirit. He offers thanks at considerable length for our being counted worthy to receive these things at his hands. When the presider has concluded these prayers and the thanksgiving, all present express their consent by saying “Amen.” In Hebrew this word means “so be it.” And after the presider has celebrated the thanksgiving and all the people have given their consent, those whom we call deacons give to each of those present a portion of the eucharistic bread and wine and water and take the same to those who are absent. (244)

LXVI. We call this food the “Eucharist.” No one is permitted to partake of it except those who believe that the things we teach are true and who have been washed in the bath for the forgiveness of sins and unto rebirth and who live as Christ has directed. We do not receive these as if they were ordinary bread and ordinary drink, but just as Jesus our Savior was made of flesh through God’s word and assumed flesh and blood for our salvation, so also the food over which the thanksgiving has been said becomes the flesh and blood of Jesus who was made flesh, doing so to nourish and transform our own flesh and blood. For the apostles in the memoirs they composed—these being called Gospels— handed down what they were commanded to do: Jesus took bread and gave thanks and said, “Do this in remembrance of me, this is my Body.” Likewise taking the cup and giving thanks, he said, “This is my blood,”4 and gave it to the apostles alone. […] (245)

LXVII. Next we continually remind one another of all this. Those capable of doing so assist the needy, and we are always together as one. And through his Son Jesus Christ and through the Holy Spirit we bless the Maker of all that nourishes us. And on the day that is called Sunday all who live in the cities or in rural areas gather together in one place, and the memoirs of the apostles and the writings of the prophets are read for as long as time allows. Then after the lector concludes, the president verbally instructs and exhorts us to imitate all these excellent things. Then all stand up together and offer prayers; as I said before, when we have concluded our prayer, bread is brought forward together with the wine and water. And the presider in like manner offers prayers and thanksgivings according to his ability. The people give their consent, saying “Amen”; there is a distribution, and all share in the Eucharist. To those who are absent a portion is brought by the deacons. And those who are well-to-do and willing give as they choose, as each one so desires. The collection is then deposited with the presider who uses it on behalf of orphans, widows, those who are needy due to sickness or any other cause, prisoners, strangers who are traveling; in short, he assists all who are in need. But Sunday is the day on which we hold our common assembly since this day is the first day on which God, changing darkness and matter, created the world; it was on this very day that Jesus Christ our Savior rose from the dead. (246)

14-B. Dialogue with Trypho the Jew

The Dialogue with Trypho the Jew is the oldest Christian apology against Judaism that has come down to us. Preserved only in one incomplete manuscript dating from the fourteenth century, the work was written in Rome and at a time shortly after Justin’s Apology I. It is an account of a two-day discussion, perhaps held at Ephesus, between Justin and Trypho, a historical person who is often identified with the rabbi Tarpho mentioned in the Mishnah.

XLI. The offering of the fine flour, my friends, which tradition prescribed to be offered on behalf of the lepers who were cleansed of their leprosy,1 was a type of the bread of thanksgiving [i.e., eucharistic bread] which Jesus Christ our Lord commanded us to observe in memory2 of the suffering he endured for those who are purified from all evils. At the same time we are to thank God for having created for us the world and all that is within it; for having freed us from the sin in which we were [born]; for having totally destroyed the principalities and the powers, doing so through him who suffered in accord with his will. And so, as I said earlier, God speaks through the mouth of Malachi, who was one of the twelve [prophets] and who said the following concerning the sacrifices you offered at that time: “I will not accept sacrifices from your hands, for from the rising of the sun to its setting my name is glorified among the Gentiles but you profane it.”3 […] (247)

He goes on to speak about us, the Gentiles, who in every place offer him sacrifices, namely, the eucharistic bread and the eucharistic cup, saying that “we glorify his name but you profane it.” (248)

Furthermore, the command to circumcise, requiring that children are always to be circumcised on the eighth day, was a type of the true circumcision by which we are circumcised from error and iniquity through our Lord Jesus Christ, who rose from the dead on the first day after the Sabbath. This day, the day that is the first day of the week, is called the eighth day according to the cycle of all the days of the week, and yet it remains the first day. (249)

LXX. […] In this prophecy he also speaks about the “bread” of thanksgiving, which Christ commanded be celebrated in memory of his being made incarnate for the sake of those who believe in him—for whom he also suffered—and about the cup of thanksgiving that he handed down for us to drink in remembrance of his blood. […] (250)

CXVII. So it is that God anticipated all the sacrifices offered through his name, which Jesus Christ enjoined us to offer, namely, the eucharistic bread and cup, Christians celebrate these throughout the whole world. God testifies that these please him. But he completely rejects the sacrifices that you and your priests offer, saying, “I will not accept sacrifices from your hands, for from the rising of the sun to its setting my name is glorified among the Gentiles but you profane it.”4 […] (251)

[…] I also affirm that prayers and thanksgivings when offered by those who are worthy are the only sacrifices that are perfect and pleasing to God. […] (252)

[…] There is not one single group of people, whether barbarians or Greeks, or by whatever name they may be called, whether nomads or vagrants or herdsmen living in tents so that they can feed their flocks, among whom prayers and thanksgivings are not offered to the Father and Maker of the universe through the name of the crucified Jesus. […] (253)



Irenaeus of Lyons (ca. 130–ca. 202/203), the most important theologian of the second century, was probably born in Smyrna (Izmir in modern Turkey). As a presbyter in Lyons (Lugdunum) he was sent in 177/178 to Rome, where he mediated the issue of Montanism. Returning to Gaul, he was ordained bishop of Lyons ca. 178, succeeding Photius, who was martyred. In 190 Irenaeus wrote to Pope Victor II (189–98) and other bishops in regard to the controversy regarding the date of Easter. Victor wished to excommunicate those bishops (Quartodecimans) who celebrated the feast on 14 Nisan and thus followed Jewish practice, rather than on the following Sunday as was the Roman tradition. This letter, found in Eusebius’s Church History (WEC 2:2009ff.), is the last we hear of Irenaeus, who, according to some accounts, died in 202/203. Although Irenaeus is venerated as a martyr, there is no strong historical proof that he actually died in this way.

Much of Irenaeus’s writing—many of his works were lost early on—focuses on defending the faith against the heterodox, especially the Gnostics, adherents of a religious movement that assumed various forms both within and without early Christianity. Often called the Father or Founder of Catholic Theology, Irenaeus frequently stressed the importance of tradition and of the authority of the church in Rome.

CPG 1: nos. 1306ff. * Altaner (1961) 150–58 * Altaner (1966) 110–17 * Bardenhewer (1908) 118–23 * Bardenhewer (1910) 96–101 * Bardenhewer (1913) 1:496–522 * Bardy (1929) 33–36 * Bautz 2:1315–26 * Campbell 26–30 * Cross 109–15 * Goodspell 119–23 * Hamell 52–55 * Jurgens 1:84–106 * Leigh-Bennett 24–39 * Quasten 1:287–313 * Steidle 34–37 * Tixeront 77–80 * CATH 6:81–86 * CE 8:130–31 * CHECL 45–52 * DCB 3:253–82 * DHGE 25:1477–79 * DictSp 7.2:1923–69 * DPAC 2:1804–16 * DTC 7.2:2394–2533 * EC 7:192–94 * EEC 1:413–16 * EEChr 1:587–89 * LTK 5:583–85 * NCE 7:631–32 * NCES 7:570–72 * ODCC 846–47 * TRE 16:258–68

J.W.F. Höfling, Die Lehre des Irenäus vom Opfer im christlichen Kultus (Erlangen, 1860). * L. Hoppenmüller, “S. Irenaeus de Eucharistia,” diss. (Bamberg, 1867). * J. Watterrich, Der Konsekrationsmoment im heiligen Abendmahl und seine Geschichte (Heidelberg, 1896) 47–60. * F.S. Renz, Die Geschichte des Messopferbegriffs, vol. 1 (Freising, 1901) 179–96. * S. Struckmann, Die Gegenwart Christi in der hl. Eucharistie nach den schriftlichen Quellen der vornicänischen Zeit (Vienna, 1905) 63–89. * J. Brinktrine, Der Messopferbegriff in den ersten zwei Jahrhunderten (Freiburg i. B., 1918) 127–35. * A. d’Alès, “La doctrine eucharistique de s. Irénée,” RSR 13 (1923) 24–46. * V. Coucke, “Doctrina Eucharistica apud s. Irenaeum,” Collationes Brugenses 29 (1929) 163–70. * P. Batiffol, L’Eucharistie, la présence réelle et la transubstantiation, 9th ed. (Paris, 1930) 167–83. * H.D. Simonin, “A propos d’un texte eucharistique de s. Irénée,” RSPT 23 (1934) 281–92. * J.L. Koole, “De avondmaalsbeschouwing van den kerkvader Irenaeus,” Gereformeerd Theologisch Tijdschrift 37 (1936) 295–303, 39 (1938) 412–17. * D. van den Eynde, “Eucharistia ex duabus rebus constans: s. Irénée, Adv. haer. IV, 18,5,” Ant 15 (1940) 13–28. * F.R.M. Hitchcock, “The Doctrine of Holy Communion in Irenaeus,” ChQ 129 (1939/40) 206–25. * M. Jugie, “La forme du sacrament de l’eucharistie d’après s. Irénée,” in Mémorial J. Chaine (Lyons, 1950) 223–33. * G. Jouassard, “Témoignages peu remarqués de s. Irénée en matière sacramentaire,” RSR 42 (1954) 528–39. * E. Ferguson, “The Ministry of the Word in the First Two Centuries,” ResQ 1 (1957) 21–31. * E. Ferguson, “Baptism from the Second to the Fourth Century,” ResQ 1 (1957) 185–97. * V. Palashkovsky, “La théologie eucharistique de s. Irénée évêque de Lyon,” SP 2 (Berlin, 1957) 277–81. * P. Nautin, Lettres et écrivans chrétiens des IIe et IIIe siècles, Patristica 2 (Paris, 1961) 74–85, 92–104. * J. de Jong, “Der ursprungliche Sinn von Epiklese und Mischungsritus nach der Eucharistielehre des heiligen Irenaeus,” ALW 9:1 (1965) 28–47. * V. Loi, “Il termine ‘mysterium’ nella letteratura latina cristiana prenicena,” VC 20 (1966) 25–44. * P. Radopoulos, “Irenaeus on the Consecration of the Eucharistic Gifts,” in Kyriakon: Festschrift Johannes Quasten, ed. P. Granfield (Washington, D.C., 1968) 844–46. * E.H. Pagels, “A Valentinian Interpretation of Baptism and Eucharist and its Critique of ‘Orthodox’ Sacramental Theology and Practice,” HThR 65 (1972) 153–69. * V. Grossi, “Regula veritatis e narratio battesimale in sant’Ireneo,” Aug 12 (1972) 437–63. * H.F. von Campenhausen, “Ostertermin oder Osterfasten? Zum Verständnis des Irenäusbriefs an Viktor (Euseb. Hist. Eccl. 5, 24),” VC 28 (1974) 114–38. * R. Daly, Christian Sacrifice: The Judeo-Christian Background before Origen (Washington, D.C., 1978) 339–59. * A. Hamman, “Irenaeus of Lyons,” in W. Rordorf and others, eds., The Eucharist of the Early Christians (New York, 1978) 86–98. * D. Unger, “The Holy Eucharist according to Saint Irenaeus,” Laurentianum 20 (1979) 103–64. * A. Orbe, “San Ireneo y la doctrina de la reconciliación,” Greg 61 (1980) 5–50. * A. Houssiau, “Le baptême selon Irénée de Lyon,” ETL 60 (1984) 45–59. * S. Agrelo, “Epiclesis y eucaristia en san Ireno,” EOr 3, 1 (1986) 7–27. * M.A. Donovan, “Insights on Ministry: Irenaeus,” Toronto Journal of Theology 2:1 (Spring 1986) 79–93. * J.M. Joncas, “Eucharist among the Marcosians: A Study of Irenaeus’ Adversus Haereses I, 13, 2,” QL 71:2 (1990) 99–111. * D.N. Power, Irenaeus of Lyons on Baptism and Eucharist: Selected Texts with Introduction, Translation, and Annotation, Alcuin/GROW Liturgical Study 18 (Bramcote, Nottingham, 1991). * B. Lemoine, “La controverse pascale du deuxième siècle: désaccords autour d’une date,” QL 73 (1992) 223–31. * E. Lanne, “Saint Irénée de Lyon, artisan de la paix entres les églises,” Ire 69 (1996) 451–76. * J.R. Kurz, “The Gifts of Creation and the Consummation of Humanity: Irenaeus of Lyon’s Recapitulatory Theology of the Eucharist,” Wor 83:2 (2009) 112–32.

15-A. Against (All) Heresies

The Detection and Overthrow of the Pretended but False Gnosis, most commonly known as Against (All) Heresies, is Irenaeus’s major opus. Although only parts of the original Greek survive, the work exists in a very literal Latin translation, dating ca. 200 according to some, and in various fragments in Syriac and Armenian. Not a homogenous book, the treatise was written over a period of time with additions and other revisions added during the years.

I.X.2. Having received this preaching and this faith, as we have just said, the Church, certainly dispersed throughout the whole world, has carefully guarded them as if inhabiting one house where it believes these things as if having one soul and one heart.1 The Church harmoniously preaches them, teaches them, and passes them on as if it has only one mouth. (254)

Even though languages differ throughout the world, yet the content of tradition is one and the same. The churches founded in Germany neither believe nor pass on anything else. The same is true for those in Spain, those in Celtic countries, those in the East, those in Libya, those established in the center of the world. Just as the sun,2 being a creature of God, is one and the same throughout the whole world, so the preaching of the truth shines everywhere3 upon all who desire to know the truth.4 Nor will the most gifted in speech among the leaders of the churches say anything other than this—for no one is above the Master5—nor does one who is less gifted in words diminish this tradition; since the faith is one and the same, neither do those who preach on it at length add anything to it, nor do those who preach less remove anything from it.6 (255)

I.XIII.2. Pretending to give thanks over a cup mixed with wine and considerably prolonging the words of invocation, he [Marcusa] sees to it that the cup appears to be purple or red so that it was believed that Charis,b coming from the highest regions above, had her own blood drip into Marcus’ cup in response to his invocation. Those present greatly desired to taste this drink so that the Charis invoked by this magician might come down on them also. Once again, presenting to some women a mixed cup, he ordered them to give thanks over it in his presence.c This done, he brought another and much larger cup than that over which the misguided woman had given thanks. Then he emptied the smaller cup into the larger one while saying, “May what is above all things, the incomprehensible and inexplicable Charis, fill up your inner self 7 and multiply her knowledge in you by sowing the mustard seed in good soil.”8 […] (256)

I.XIII.5. This same Marcus also used philters and charms with some if not all the women to dishonor their bodies. Returning to the Church of God, they often acknowledged that he had defiled their bodies and that they had experienced a violent passion for him. A certain deacon, one of our own in Asia, received him [Marcus] into his house and fell into this misfortune: the magician corrupted the deacon’s beautiful wife in spirit and body, and for a long time she followed him; then, converted with great effort by the brethren, she spent the rest of her life doing penance, weeping and lamenting over the defilement she experienced on account of this magician. (257)

I.XIII.7. By such words and deeds they [i.e., the disciples of Marcus] seduced a large number of women in our own district of the Rhone. With consciences branded by a hot iron,9 some among these women did penance, doing so even in public. Others, who feared doing so, withdrew in silence, giving up on the life of God.10 Some totally apostatized; others are in between, according to the proverb “neither without or within,” and tasting this “fruit” of the seed of the sons of the “knowledge.” (258)

I.XXI.1. As for the tradition concerning their [the disciples of Marcus] “redemption,” it happens that it is invisible and incomprehensible, for this “redemption” is itself the mother of what is incomprehensible and invisible. This is why, from the fact that the tradition is unstable, it cannot be described in a simple way and by only one formula since each of them passes it on as he or she wishes: as many teachers of this doctrine, so many “redemptions” are there. That such people were instigated by Satan to deny the baptism of regeneration in God and to reject all faith, we will show in a more fitting place when we refute them. (259)

I.XXI.3. Some prepare a nuptial chamber and carry out something like a mystagogy accompanied by invocations over those who are initiated. Thus they pretend to effect a “pneumatic” marriage resembling syzygies from above. Others lead them to the water and, while plunging them into it, say, “Into the name of the unknown Father of all things, in the Truth, the Mother of all things into the name of the one who descends upon Jesus; into the union, redemption, and communion of the Powers.” Others pronounce over them Hebrew words so that those to be the initiated are made senseless or weakened, Basyma cacahasa eanaa irraumista diarbêda caèota bafobor camelanthi. Translated, this is, “I invoke what is above all power of the Father and is called Light, Spirit, and Life, for you have reigned in a body.” Still others proclaim “redemption” as follows: “The Name which is hidden from the universal Deity and Domination and Truth, which Jesus the Nazarean put on in the zones of light, Christ Jesus who lives through the Holy Spirit for the redemption of the angels, the name that leads to restoration: Messia ufar magno in seenchaldia mosomeda eaacha faronepscha Jesu Nazarene.” Translated, this is, “I do not divide the Spirit, the heart, and the supercelestial and merciful power of Christ. May I take delight in your Name, Savior of the truth!” This is what those who carry out the initiation say. The person who is initiated responds, “I am confirmed and redeemed, and I redeem my soul from this age and from all things that are from it, doing so in the name of Jao who has redeemed his soul for ‘redemption’ in the living Christ.” Finally those present make the following acclamation, “Peace to all upon whom this Name rests!” Then they anoint the initiated with balm. This perfume, they say, stands for the good aroma spread over the Eons. (260)

I.XXI.4. Some of them say that it is superfluous to lead [those to be initiated] to the water; they mix together oil and water and, while saying formulas similar to those given above, they pour this mixture upon the head of each person who is being initiated. This, they pretend, is “redemption.” Furthermore, they also anoint with balm. There are also others who reject all these practices, claiming as they do that one should not carry out the mystery of irrepressible and incorporeal realities by using sensible and bodily things. Indeed, perfect “redemption” is the very knowledge of the inexpressible Greatness. […] (261)

II.XXI.4. Being only thirty years of age when he was baptized and then being the perfect age for a teacher, he [Jesus] came to Jerusalem so that all could rightly acknowledge him as a teacher. […] He came to save all—all, I say, who are reborn unto God through him: the newborn, infants, the young and the old. This is why he passed through every age: making himself an infant for infants, he sanctified the infants; making himself young, he sanctified those of this age, and at the same time being an example of piety, justice, and obedience. […] (262)

III.XVII.1. […] It was as a dove that the Spirit of God descended upon him11—the Spirit concerning whom Isaiah said, “And the Spirit of God rested upon him,”12 as we previously explained. Also, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me; this is why he anointed me.”13 It was this same Spirit concerning whom the Lord said, “For it is not you who speak but the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you.”14 And while giving his disciples the power of regeneration unto God, he said to them, “Go, teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”15 For God through the prophets promised that in the end times he would pour this same Spirit “upon … his male and female servants so that they might prophesy.”16 Therefore the same Spirit has descended upon the Son of God,17 made the Son of Man, becoming accustomed to dwelling with him in the human race, to dwelling among us, to dwelling within God’s handiwork, bringing about the Father’s will in us, and renewing us from our old state unto the newness of Christ. (263)

III.XVII.2. This is the Spirit that David requested for the human race when he said, “And strengthen me by your Spirit which governs.”18 Luke tells us that this Spirit, after the Lord’s ascension, descended upon the disciples on Pentecost,19 and it is the Spirit who has power over all the nations to introduce them to the entrance of life and for opening the New Testament; this is why, together in all languages,20 they sang a hymn to God—the Spirit unifying the distant tribes and offering to the Father the first fruits of all nations. (264)

This is why the Lord promised to send the Paraclete,21 who is to prepare us for God. For just as dry wheat, without water, cannot be made into a mass of dough or one loaf, so neither can we, being many, become one in Christ Jesus without the water that comes from heaven. And just as dry soil, if it does not receive water, is not fruitful, so we who were originally dry wood,22 could never have brought forth the fruits of life23 without rain graciously given from above. (265)

By the bath [of baptism] our bodies have received the unity that renders them incorruptible; but our souls have received this by means of the Spirit. For this reason both are necessary since both obtain the life of God. Our Lord took pity on the erring Samaritan woman24 who, not staying with one husband, fornicated with many; he showed and promised her “the living water” so that “she would thirst no more”25 nor labor to obtain the refreshing water. Henceforth she has within herself the water “flowing forth unto eternal life,”26 the water the Lord received as a gift from his Father and which is given to those who partake of him who sends the Holy Spirit over all the earth. (266)

IV.XVII.1. In the fullest do the prophets indicate that it was not because God needed their service that he prescribed the observances contained in the Law; and, as we will show, the Lord in turn plainly taught that when God requests an offering from us, he does so for the sake of the person who offers. (267)

When Samuel saw people neglecting justice, when they were turning away from God’s love and yet nonetheless believing they could appease God by sacrifices and by other figurative observances, Samuel said to them: “Does the Lord desire holocausts and sacrifices more than listening to the voice of the Lord? Behold obedience is better than sacrifice and docility better than the fat of rams.”27 David said, “You desired neither sacrifice nor oblation, but you gave me ears; you desired neither holocausts nor sacrifices for sin.”28 By this he taught them that God prefers obedience, which saves them, to sacrifices and holocausts, which profit them nothing for justice; at the same time he foretold the new covenant. Still more clearly on this subject does he say in Psalm 50 [51], “If you had desired a sacrifice, I would have offered you one; but you did not take pleasure in holocausts; for God, sacrifice is a contrite spirit; God does not spurn a contrite and humble heart.”29 That God lacks nothing, he affirms in the preceding psalm: “I will not accept the calves of your house, nor the goats of your flocks, for mine are all the animals of the forest, the beasts of the mountains, and the oxen; I know all the birds of the sky, and the beauty of the field is mine; if I am thirsty, I will not tell you, for mine is the world and all that it contains. And so will I eat the flesh of bulls or drink the blood of goats?”30 Then, so that no one believe that it is due to anger that God rejects all this, he adds by way of counsel, “Offer to God the sacrifice of praise and fulfill your vows to the Most High; call upon me on the day of distress and I will free you, and you will glorify me.”31 And so, having rejected what sinners believe can appease God, and having showed that God has need of nothing, he exhorts and recalls those things through which people are justified and enabled to approach God. (268)

Isaiah says the same, “What are the multitude of your sacrifices to me? says the Lord. I am filled.”32 Then, having rejected the holocausts, sacrifices, and offerings, as well as the new moons, the sabbaths, the feasts, and all the observances connected with these, he adds, to advise what pertains to salvation, “Wash, purify yourselves, remove what is evil from your hearts before my eyes; cease from evil, learn how to do good, seek out justice, save all who suffer injustice, give heed to the orphans, defend the widow, come therefore, let us reason it out,”33 says the Lord. (269)

IV.XVII.2. He did not thereby abolish their sacrifices like an angry man, as many dare to say, but he took pity on their blindness and taught the true sacrifice by the offering through which he pleased God and obtained life from him. As he said in another place, “For God, sacrifice is a contrite heart; for God, the odor of sweetness is a heart that glorifies him who formed it.”34 (270)

If it were out of anger that God rejected their sacrifices as being unworthy to obtain divine mercy, he would not have advised them in regard to their salvation. God, being merciful, did not deprive them of such good counsel. Through Jeremiah he said to them, “Why do you bring me incense from Saba and cinnamon from a distant land? Your holocausts and sacrifices are not pleasing to me.”35 He adds: “Hear the word of the Lord, all you of Judah. This is what the Lord God of Israel says: Direct your ways and your customs, and I will have you dwell in this place. Be not proud of the lies which will be of no profit to you, namely, ‘This is the temple of the Lord. This is the temple of the Lord.’”36 (271)

IV.XVII.3. Again, indicating to them that he did not lead them out of Egypt in order that they might offer him sacrifice but so that they, forgetting the idolatry of the Egyptians, might hear the voice of God, who was their salvation and glory, he said through Jeremiah: “This is what the Lord said, Gather together your holocausts with your sacrifices and eat flesh; for I did not speak to your fathers nor did I command anything in regard to holocausts and sacrifices on the day when I had them depart Egypt. Here is what I commanded: Hear my voice and I will be your God, and you will be my people; walk in all my ways whichever I will command you so that it may go well with you. But they have not listened nor paid attention; they have walked according to the thoughts of their evil heart and have turned back rather than moving ahead.”37 And again through the same person, “Let whoever glories, glory in this, namely, to understand and know that I am the Lord who brings about mercy, justice, and judgment upon the earth.” He adds, “For it is in this that I take pleasure, says the Lord,”38 and not in sacrifices, holocausts, and oblations. […] (272)

IV.XVII.4. Consequently God did not seek sacrifices and holocausts from them but rather faith, obedience, and justice unto their salvation. As God said through the prophet Hosea when teaching them his will, “I desire mercy rather than sacrifice, and knowledge of God more than holocausts.”39 Our Lord also warned them of the same, saying, “If you would have known what this means, ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice,’ never would you have condemned the innocent.”40 In this way he bore witness that the prophets were preaching the truth, and he accused them [those listening] of being foolish due to their own fault. (273)

IV.XVII.5. He directed his disciples to offer God the first fruits of his creation, not as if God needed them but so they themselves would not be unfruitful or ungrateful. He took the bread, which is created, and gave thanks, saying, “This is my Body.”41 Likewise for the cup, which is part of the creation to which we belong, and he revealed it to be his Blood, and he taught that it was the new offering of the new covenant.42 It is this very same offering which the Church has received from the apostles and which throughout the world it offers to God who feeds us with the first fruits of his gifts in the new covenant. (274)

Among the twelve prophets it was Malachi who spoke of this beforehand: “I do not find pleasure in you, says the omnipotent Lord, and I will accept no sacrifice from your hands; for from the rising to the setting of the sun my name is glorified among the nations, and in every place incense as well as a pure sacrifice are offered to my name; for my name is great among the nations, says the omnipotent Lord.”43 In this way he very clearly indicates that the former people will cease offering to God, although in every place a sacrifice—one that is pure—will be offered to him, and that his name will be glorified among the nations. […] (275)

IV.XVIII.1. And so the Church’s offering, which the Lord taught is to be offered throughout the entire world, is a pure sacrifice in God’s sight and pleases him. God has no need of our sacrifice, but those who offer are glorified if their gifts are accepted. By this gift are shown the honor and affection we give to the King. It is this gift which the Lord desires us to offer in all simplicity and innocence, for he said, “When you offer your gift at the altar and there recall that your brother has something against you, leave your gift before the altar, and first go and be reconciled with your brother; then, when you return, offer your gift.”44 So it is necessary to offer God the first fruits of his creation, as Moses says, “Do not appear before the Lord with empty hands,”45 so that we, by expressing our thanks to him through the very things that please us, may receive the honor that comes from God. (276)

IV.XVIII.2. Offerings as such have not been condemned: offerings were there [among the Jews] and they are also found here; sacrifices existed among the [Jewish] people, and they exist in the Church. Its species alone has changed; no more is the offering made by slaves but by those who are free. There is only one and the same Lord, but there is a character proper to the offering of slaves and to that of those who are free so that through the oblation itself is shown the distinctive sign of freedom, since with God nothing is indifferent, meaningless, or lacking in design. This is why they [the Jews] had tithes of their goods consecrated to him, whereas those who have been freed dedicate all their possessions to the Lord’s use; joyfully and freely giving not the least of their goods, they hope for greater things, as was true of the poor widow who placed her whole livelihood in God’s treasury.46 (277)

IV.XVIII.3. From the beginning God looked favorably upon the gifts of Abel because Abel offered them with sincerity and righteousness. Yet God did not do the same concerning Cain’s gifts since Cain’s heart was full of jealousy and malice in regard to his brother. Therefore God, exposing Cain’s hidden feelings, said, “Have you not sinned if you brought it rightly but did not divide it rightly? Be still”47 because God is not pleased by sacrifice. Should some dare to offer a sacrifice that is outwardly clean, correct, and lawful, yet if in their hearts they do not share correct communion with their neighbor and do not fear God, they do not deceive God by offering this sacrifice with an appearance of propriety while sinning internally; what profits such a person is not offering sacrifice but rather eliminating the evil that has been born within. Lacking this, the sin by a counterfeit action makes the person his or her own murderer. Therefore the Lord also said, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you are like whitened sepulchers. Outside, the sepulcher appears beautiful, but within it is full of the bones of the dead and of all types of filth; so you also on the outside appear just to others, yet inside, you are full of evil and hypocrisy.”48 Although they were thought to offer correctly according to outward appearances, within they had a jealousy akin to that of Cain: and so they, like Cain, killed the Just One, disregarding the counsel of the Word.49 For [God] said to him, “Be still.”50 But he did not assent. Now what else is to “be still” than to cease from the intended violence? And he said similar things to them, “You blind Pharisee, first clean the outside of the cup so that what is outside be clean.”51 But they did not listen. For behold, says Jeremiah, “neither your eyes nor your heart are good, but in your covetousness you have turned them toward shedding innocent blood, and for practicing injustice and murder.”52 And again Isaiah says, “You have taken counsel, but not through me; you have made covenants, but not through my Spirit.”53 And so that their inmost desires and thoughts, brought to life, may show that God is without blame—for God reveals what is secret but does no evil—when Cain was not at rest, God said to him, “It [i.e., sin] seeks you out, but you must master it.”54 Likewise he said to Pilate, “You would have no power over me unless it had been given you from above.”55 God has always delivered the just so that they, having patiently endured sufferings, may be tested and approved, and that evildoers, according to their bad deeds, may be condemned and cast outside. Consequently we are not sanctified by sacrifices since God does not need them; but it is the dispositions of those who offer which make holy the sacrifice, provided these be pure; they move God to accept the offering as if from a friend. “As to the sinner, he says, whoever sacrifices a calf, it is as if one killed a dog.”56 (278)

IV.XVIII.4. Since the Church offers with sincerity, rightly is its gift considered a pure sacrifice in God’s sight, as Paul said to the Philippians, “I am full, having received from Epaphroditus the things you sent, a fragrant offering, a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God.”57 For we are to present an offering to God, and in all things we are to be grateful to the Creator, doing so with a pure mind, in faith, without hypocrisy, with firm hope, in fervent love, being the first fruits of his own creation. The Church alone offers this pure oblation to the Creator, offering it with a thanksgiving that comes from his creation. The Jews, however, do not offer, their hands being full of blood;58 they have not received the Word through whom offering is made to God, nor do all the assemblies of the heretics. Some, in fact, say that there is a Father other than the Creator, but, in offering him gifts taken from our own created world, they show that he desires the property of others and desires what is not his own. Others say that our world comes from failure, ignorance, and passion; and offering the fruits of ignorance, passion, and failure, they sin against their Father, insulting rather than thanking him. (279)

Again, how will they be certain that the bread over which they give thanks is the Body of their Lord, and that the cup is his Blood if they do not say that he is the Son of the Creator of the world, namely, God’s Word through whom the wood is fruitful, the fountains flow, and “the earth gives first the blade, then the ear, and then the full corn in the ear.”59 (280)

IV.XVIII.5. Again, how can they say that the flesh, nourished by the Lord’s Body and Blood, can be corruptible and not partake of life? Therefore they should either change their thinking or cease offering the things we have just mentioned. Our thinking agrees with the Eucharist, and the Eucharist in turn confirms our thinking. For we offer to him what is his, harmoniously proclaiming the communion and unity of the flesh and the Spirit; for just as the bread which comes from the earth, having received the invocation of God, no longer is common bread but the Eucharist and consists of two parts, one of earth, the other of heaven—so our bodies, participating in the Eucharist, are no longer subject to corruption since they have hope in the resurrection. (281)

IV.XVIII.6. Indeed we offer to God not because God is in need but to give him thanks with the help of his gifts and to sanctify creation. For just as God does not need things that come from us, so we need to offer something to God as Solomon said, “Whoever has pity on the poor lends to God.”60 God, who needs nothing, accepts our good actions so that we can give his good things in return.61 As our Lord said, “Come, blessed of my Father, receive the kingdom prepared for you: for I was hungry, and you gave me to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave me to drink; I was a stranger, and you welcomed me; nude, and you clothed me; sick, and you visited me; in prison, and you came to me.”62 God, therefore, having no need for these things, nonetheless desires that we do them for our own benefit. In this way we will not lack fruit, just as the Word commanded the people to make offerings, even though he had no need of them, so that they might learn how to serve God. And so the Word desires that we also frequently and continuously offer our gift at the altar. (282)

There is, then, a heavenly altar toward which our prayers and offerings are directed. There is also a temple, as John in the Book of Revelation says, “And God’s temple was opened.”63 As to the tabernacle he says, “Behold God’s tabernacle in which he will dwell among mortals.”64 (283)

V.II.2. Vain in every respect are those who despise the entire dispensation of God, denying, as they do, the salvation of the flesh and rejecting its rebirth since they say that the flesh is incapable of becoming incorruptible. If there is no salvation for the flesh, then the Lord did not redeem us with his blood,65 nor is the eucharistic cup a sharing in his Blood.66 Blood can only come forth from veins, from flesh, and from the rest of what makes us human. Made human, the Word of God has redeemed us by his own blood, as the apostle says, “In whom we have redemption by his blood, the forgiveness of our sins.”67 Since we are his members68 and are nourished through creation—creation which he gives us as he makes the sun rise and the rain fall as he wishes69—the cup, taken from creation, he has declared to be his own blood.70 Through his blood our own blood is strengthened. Bread, taken from creation, he has declared to be his own Body71 through which our bodies are strengthened. (284)

V.II.3. When the mixed cup and the baked bread receive the word of God and become the Eucharist, namely, the Blood and Body of Christ, and when the substance of our flesh is thereby strengthened, how can such people pretend that the flesh is incapable of receiving God’s gift, which is eternal life—the flesh nourished by Christ’s Body and Blood, and which is his member, as the blessed apostle says in his Letter to the Ephesians, “We are members of his Body,”72 formed of his flesh and bones? He [Paul] did not say this of any spiritual and invisible person—”for the spirit has neither bone nor flesh,”73 but he speaks of the arrangement whereby Christ became a human being with flesh, nerves, and bone. It is this very organism that is nourished by the cup which is Christ’s Blood and that is strengthened by the bread that is his Body. Just as a cutting of wood from the vine when planted in the soil produces fruit in its season, and just as a grain of wheat, after falling to the ground74 and decomposing there, springs up in manifold increase through the Spirit of God who supports all things75—and subsequently through the wisdom [of God] serves human use and then, receiving the word of God, becomes the Eucharist, namely, Christ’s Body and Blood—so our bodies, nourished by this same Eucharist and after having been placed in the earth and decomposing there, will rise at their appointed time. […] (285)

15-B. Demonstration of the Apostolic Teaching

For a long time, only the title of this work was known, but in 1904 an Armenian translation was discovered; it was published in 1907. The work, not polemical, is a compendium, as it were, of Christian doctrine.

3. […] This is what the rule of faith obtains for us as has been handed down to us by the presbyters [elders?], the disciples of the apostles. First, it persuades us to remember that we have been baptized for the forgiveness of sins in the name of God the Father, in the name of Jesus Christ, the incarnate Son of God who died and rose, and in the Holy Spirit of God. It teaches us that baptism is the seal of eternal life and is rebirth in God so that, no longer children of mortals, we are children of the eternal and everlasting God. […] (286)

42. And so do believers keep themselves [with bodies unstained and souls incorruptible] if the Holy Spirit constantly remains in them, the Holy Spirit who, given by God at baptism, is retained by the one who has received it. […] (287)

Translated from J. Quasten, Monumenta Eucharistica et Liturgica Vetustissima, vol. 1 of Florilegium Patristicum (Bonn, 1935) 13–21.

1. See Matt 28:19. 2. John 3:5. 3. Isa 1:16–20.

4. Luke 22:19–20; 1 Cor 11:23–25; Matt 26:26–27.

Translated from the French in Oeuvres complètes: grandes apologies. Dialogue avec le juif Tryphon, requêtes, traité de la résurrection. Justin Martyr, intro. by J.-D. Dubois; trans. G. Archambault and others; notes by A.G. Hamman and D. Barthélemy (Paris, 1994) 161–62, 214, 278–80. (The Greek text was not available.)

1. See Lev 14:10. 2. See Luke 22:19. 3. Mal 1:10–11.

4. Ibid.

Translated from Contre les héréses. Irénée de Lyon, ed. and trans. A. Rousseau and others, SChr 100 (Paris, 1964) 153, 211, 264, 294. David Power’s Irenaeus of Lyons on Baptism and Eucharist has been very helpful in this section.

a. Marcus: a Gnostic heretic whose followers, called Marcosians, relied not on the scriptural books but on apocryphal and other unauthentic writings.

1. See Acts 4:32. 2. See John 1:5. 3. See John 1:9. 4. See 1 Tim 2:4. 5. See Matt 10:24. 6. See 2 Cor 8:15; Exod 16:18.

b. Charis: a name used for one of the intermediate beings in the Gnostic system.

c. David Power comments: “The exercise of such a prayer role by women used to be seen as one of the traits of heterodox bodies. Now that New Testament studies have shown the leadership of women in early house-churches and the presence of women among the prophets of early times, it is no longer clear that women were excluded from invoking liturgical blessings in ecclesial assemblies. For some, the Marcosian liturgy in this regard may simply reflect an orthodox practice, later discontinued and prohibited” (p. 13).

7. See Eph 3:16. 8. See Matt 13:31. 9. See 1 Tim 4:2. 10. See Eph 4:18.

11. Matt 3:16; Mark 1:10; Luke 3:22; John 1:32. 12. Isa 11:2. 13. Isa 61:1; Luke 4:18. 14. Matt 10:20. 15. Matt 28:19. 16. Joel 3:1–2. 17. See Isa 11:2. 18. Ps 51:12. 19. See Acts 2:1ff. 20. See Acts 2:4, 11. 21. See John 15:26; 16:7. 22. See Luke 23:31. 23. See Gen 1:12; Luke 13:9. 24. See John 4:7ff. 25. John 4:14. 26. Ibid.

27. 1 Sam 15:22. 28. Ps 40:6. 29. Ps 51:16–17. 30. Ps 50:9–13. 31. Ps 50:14–15. 32. Isa 1:11. 33. Isa 1:16–18.

34. See Ps 50 (?). 35. Jer 6:20. 36. Jer 7:2–4. 37. Jer 7:21–24. 38. Jer 9:23. 39. Hos 6:6. 40. Matt 12:7. 41. Matt 26:26.

42. See Matt 26:28. 43. Mal 1:10–11. 44. Matt 5:23–24. 45. Deut 16:16. 46. See Luke 21:4.

47. Gen 4:7, LXX. 48. Matt 23:27–28. 49. See Jas 5:6. 50. Gen 4:7, LXX. 51. Matt 23:26. 52. Jer 22:17. 53. Isa 30:1, LXX. 54. Gen 4:7. 55. John 19:11. 56. Isa 66:3, LXX.

57. Phil 4:18. 58. See Isa 1:15. 59. Mark 4:28. 60. Prov 19:17. 61. See ibid. 62. Matt 25:34–36.

63. Rev 11:19. 64. Rev 21:3. 65. See Col 1:14. 66. See 1 Cor 10:16. 67. Col 1:14. 68. See 1 Cor 6:15; Eph 5:30. 69. See Matt 5:45. 70. See Luke 22:20; 1 Cor 11:25. 71. See Luke 22:19; 1 Cor 11:24. 72. Eph 5:30. 73. Luke 24:39. 74. See John 12:24. 75. See Wis 1:7.

Translated from Démonstration de la prédication apostolique. Irénée Lyon, ed. and trans. L.M. Froidevaux, SChr 62 (Paris, 1959) 88–89, 140–41.

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