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D I V I S I O N S A M O N G C H R I S T I A N S c h a p t e r 35 At this point, Trypho interrupted me by saying, “Indeed I know that there are many who profess their faith in Jesus and are considered to be Christians, yet they claim there is no harm in their eating meats sacrificed to idols.” 2. “The fact that there are such men,” I replied, “who pretend to be Christians and confess the crucified Jesus as their Lord and Christ, yet profess not his doctrines, but those of the spirits of error,1 only tends to make us adherents of the true and pure Christian doctrine more ardent in our faith and more firm in the hope he announced to us. As we look about us, we see events actually taking place which he predicted would happen in his name. 3. “Indeed, he foretold, Many shall come in my name, clothed outwardly in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.2 And, There shall be schisms and heresies.3 And, Beware of false prophets, who come to you in clothing of sheep, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.4 And, There shall arise many false Christs and false apostles, and they shall deceive many of the faithful.5 4. “My friends, there were, and still are, many men who, in the name of Jesus, come and teach others atheistic and blas54 1. See 1 Tm 4.1. 2. Mt 24.5; 7.15. See Massaux, 52. 3. 1 Cor 11.18. See A. Le Boulluec, “Remarques à propos du problème de 1 Cor. 11,19 et du de Justin, Dialogue 35,” SP 12.1 (= TU 115; 1975), 328–33, which reviews the literature. 4. Mt 7.15. 5. Mt 24.11, 24. See Massaux, 54. phemous doctrines and actions; we call them by the name of the originator of each false doctrine. 5. “For others teach, each in his own peculiar method, how to blaspheme the Creator of the universe, and Christ, whose advent was foretold by him, and the God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob. They are all outside of our communion, for we know them for what they are, impious atheists and wicked sinners, men who profess Jesus in name only, but do not really worship him. 6. “These men call themselves Christians in much the same way as some Gentiles engrave the name of God upon their statues , and then indulge in every kind of wicked and atheistic rite. Some of these heretics are called Marcionites,6 some Valentinians , some Basilidians, and some Saturnilians, and others by still other names, each designated by the name of the founder of the system, just as each person who deems himself a philosopher , as I stated at the beginning of this discussion, claims that he must bear the name of the philosophy he favors from the founder of that particular school of philosophy. 7. “Not only from these events do we conclude, as I said, that Jesus possessed foreknowledge of what would happen to him, but also from the many other happenings which he predicted would befall those who believe and profess that he is the Messiah . He even foretold all the suffering we would have to bear when those of our own household put us to death. Consequently , we can find no fault with either his words or actions. 8. “For this reason, too, we pray for you and for everyone else who hates us, that you may repent with us, and refrain from blaspheming Jesus Christ, who is proved to be totally without blame and reproach by his own deeds and by the miracles which even now are wrought in his name by the words of his teaching and the prophecies concerning him. We pray, also, that you may believe in Jesus Christ, and thus at his second triumphant coming you will be saved and not be condemned by him to the fire of hell.” Divisions among Christians 55 6. Markiavnoi: not the disciples of Mark, the Valentinian Gnostic, but of Marcion . For these and related groups, see K. Rudolph, Gnosis (San Francisco: Harper and Row, 1983), 294–326. ...


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