Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Making of Irenaeus's Against Heresies Book One [Part Two]

It has always seemed strange to me at least that the information about the heretic 'Heracleon' inevitable gets confounded with the details of 'Marcus' which come down to us from the Five Books of Irenaeus's Against Heresies.  Yet the real question for many is - why should anyone care about this?  Why should the intricacies of an obscure, hard to read - and ultimately very boring work - be of interest to anyone other than specialists in Patristic literature?

Well I think there is a rather simple to this question.  I think that the only way out of the prison of Patristic thought is to run through the sewer pipes of its earliest historical writer - Irenaeus.  If we don't come to terms with Irenaeus, his writings and his beliefs, all our subsequent efforts to make sense of the origins of Christianity are doomed to fail miserably.

I have repeatedly argued that there is something very significant and overlooked in his report on the followers of a certain heretic named 'Marcus' which take up chapters 13 through 21 in his book.  I have noted in print that there are good reasons to think that the heresy associated with 'Marcus' is really the second century Alexandrian tradition attached to St. Mark.  We see this in the fact that numerous scholars notice that Clement of Alexandria inevitably and anonymously uses the same sources which Irenaeus attributes to 'Marcus' (cmp. AH 1.14,15 with Strom 6.16).

Of course the usual way of approaching this is of course is to ignore the relationship.  Why is this approached favored?  It help keep our inherited distinction between 'heresy' and 'orthodoxy' intact.  This in turn helps 'soothe' the fears of Patristic scholars who happen to 'buy into' the orthodox claims on some instinctual level. The only problem with this approach of course is that it is totally dishonest.  Clement of Alexandria is certainly a 'Marcosian.'  But what does 'being a Marcosian' really mean?  Was there really some heretical boogeyman named 'Marcus' who was active in the world just before Irenaeus was writing 'seducing' virgins and attempting to convince people that he was the 'true gnostic'?  No, I certainly don't think so.  Yet in order to get beyond merely regurgitating the reports of Irenaeus verbatim you have engage in some degree of literary criticism.  You have to draw the line between 'what is real' and 'what is exaggeration' or 'what is fiction' and this is bound to ruffle the feathers of Patristic scholars because, as noted, many of them - consciously or unconsciously - buy into the notion that Irenaeus and other Church Fathers were holy men.

Irenaeus clearly acknowledges that he drew from earlier sources.  He mentions Polycarp, Justin and a few others. He also claims that there was a worldwide and universally accepted understanding of orthodoxy which antedated his efforts to effectively mandate that dogma.  I think this is an example of Irenaeus's tendency to 'exaggerate' or 'lie' for the claim that there was universal acceptance of this 'truth' appears as little more than a footnote to the greater effort to wipe out all that contradicted this notion.

It's like someone telling the world he is of the highest moral character while condemning a number of critics who impugn his reputation.  The critics aren't alway right of course.  But when we see fundamental agreement between the 'Marcosians' and Clement of Alexandria it is difficult to make the case that the 'universal Church' extended as far as Alexandria.  Clement is usually ranked as our first 'orthodox voice' in Egypt.  If we have to cross out Clement's name from that 'honor roll' - who are we left with?

Origen was his successor at the so-called 'catechetical school of Alexandria.'  Origen was one of the most famous heretics in later Patristic literature even though - paradoxically it would seem - he was also extremely influential among a wide circle of orthodox writers.  Clement and Origen do there best to demonstrate that their teachings are in keeping with contemporary Catholic doctrine.  Yet the consistent charge that their writings contained 'heresy' inevitably gives way to the much more significant accusation that they and their followers were hypocrites with respect to their confession of orthodoxy.

The bottom line here is whether any of us can really believe that our inherited notion of 'orthodoxy' was native to Alexandria.  The honest answer to this question of course has to be no.  From this point of view then Irenaeus's testimony, or perhaps better - the claim which appears in the Five Books of Against Heresies - that there was a universal Church, a universal dogma from the very beginning of Christianity which 'naturally' filter down from the apostles to the 'primitive Church' is utterly false.  Clement and Origen and the rest of the representatives of the later Alexandrian Church only paid lip service to the new orthodoxy that was emerging from the imagination of Irenaeus.  Rather than being sincere believers in this doctrine they more closely represented client kings or puppet governments who to this day have to go about a careful balancing act appeasing the will of both foreign authorities and domestic pressures often to mixed reviews.

The fact that most scholars don't portray Clement and Origen in this light can mostly be attributable to the fact that they consistently turn a blind eye to the evidence.  Moreover, Patristic scholars have likely very little exposure to crypto-traditions in modern history.  One needn't think only of the exotic examples of this phenomena (i.e. cypto-Jews) but in fact the survival of so-called crypto-Christians principally in Greece and Asia Minor during the Ottoman period (i.e. those who secretly maintained an otherwise orthodox Christian faith while forced into adopting outward Islamic practices).

In the end we have to go back to the fact that most of the traditions Irenaeus's attacks in his writings are Alexandrian as our ultimate point of reference.  If we saw a Caucasian male consistently criticize and condemn people of another race, religion, sex or nationality in his writings we might likely associate that person with racism, sexism or some other appropriate label.  The reason we don't do that with the writings of Irenaeus of course is because we never find him saying something like 'Egyptian Christianity is evil' or 'beware of those of the episcopal throne of Alexandria.'  Yet this doesn't mean that these attacks weren't original present in his writings.

Indeed Photius makes absolutely clear to us that Ireaeus's writings must have been purged of heterorthodox opinions - "St. Irenaeus is said to have been the author of many other works of various kinds including letters, in some of which it should be observed that the exact truth of the doctrines of the Church appears to be falsified by spurious arguments." (Bibl. 120) Moreover Photius testifies even that our surviving version of the Five Books Against Heresies is not the same as the text known to him or other Patristic witnesses.

Photius describes the contents of the first book that he had in his possession as follows:

The first (or 'the beginning'), in which Valentinus and his impious heresy are discussed, begins as far back as Simon Magus and goes down to Tatian, who, at first a disciple of Justin Martyr, afterwards fell headlong into heresy. It also deals with those who are properly called Gnostics and the Cainites, setting forth their abominable doctrines. Such is the contents of the first book. In the second the impious dogmas of the heretics are refuted.

The reality is that while Tatian is referenced in our copies of the Book One of Against Heresies, it is hard to see how this could be argued to be a continuation of the account of the Valentinians, nor at the same time can its contents be described as 'beginning as far back as Simon.' Simon Magus, strangely appears after the account of Valentinus, the Valentinians and Marcus and just before the discussion of Tatian. The consensus in modern scholarship is that because the Philosophumena knows and preserves the same basic order of the section of 'Valentinus and the Valentinians' followed by a section on 'Marcus' that what follows in Against Heresies Book One derives its origin from another source - i.e. Justin's 'Syntagma' (or 'notebook' which also outlined the various heresies).

I will agree that the basically shared materials in Against Heresies and the Philosophumena point to a common ancestor. Yet what scholars often fail to see is that the Philosophumena also preserves Photius's original understanding that the section on the Valentinians began with Simon Magus then worked down to Valentinus and then Marcus and then ultimately ended with a discussion of Tatian. The Philosophumena's order is:

Simon Magus (Phil. 6.1 - 15)
Valentinus (Phil. 6.16 - 32)
Various Valentinians (Phil. 6.33)
Marcus (Phil. 6.34 - 50)

There is no doubt that the author of the Philosophumena was following the original order of Book One of Against Heresies as he knew it by his closing statement in Book Six, namely that various Marcosian bishops:

having approached the subject of a refutation in a more unconstrained spirit, has explained such washings and redemptions, stating more in the way of a rough digest what are their practices (and) on meeting with (Irenaeus' work), deny that they have so received, but they have learned that always they should deny. Wherefore our anxiety has been more accurately to investigate, and to discover minutely what are the (instructions) which they deliver in the case of the first bath, styling it by some such name; and in the case of the second, which they denominate Redemption. But not even has this secret of theirs escaped (our scrutiny). For these opinions, however, we consent to pardon Valentinus and his school. (Phil. 6.37)

Clearly then the author of the Philosophumena not only followed Irenaeus's original account closely but ultimately tried to 'improve' the accuracy of the narrative.

The fact that Epiphanius could have mistaken the description of the other baptism of the followers of Mark for something originally associated with the followers of Heracleon points to more modifications of the text or at least a variant version of the material which did not specify that the practices belonged to those associated with Mark. There is no way of telling why this generic description was ultimately developed. Nevertheless it is worth pointing out that Epiphanius's account of the Marcosians preserves most of the material in Against Heresies assigning the 'redemption baptism' to the followers of Mark. He might have had a separate 'lecture' which mostly conformed to AH 1.21.3-5 directed now not against 'Marcosians' but against 'Alexandrians' or 'heretics' but which did not specify a particular group but was thought to pertain to heretics generally.

This kind of situation certainly applied to Tertullian's translation of a lost original and ultimately separate treatise devoted to the Valentinians (Adv Valent) which basically conforms to AH 1.1 - 1.12. Yet as we noted in the previous post in this series, there are significant gaps of information here:

Adv Valent 7 -- AH Book One Chapter 1.1
Adv Valent 8 -- AH Book One Chapter 1.2,3
Adv Valent 9 -- AH Book One Chapter 2.1,2
Adv Valent 10 -- AH Book One Chapter 2.3,4
Adv Valent 11 -- AH Book One Chapter 2.5,6
Adv Valent 12 -- AH Book One Chapter 2.6
Adv Valent 13 -- AH Book One Chapter 3.1 and continues with AH Book One Chapter 4.1
Adv Valent 14 -- AH Book One Chapter 4.1
Adv Valent 15 -- AH Book One Chapter 4.2,4 (LOOSELY)
Adv Valent 16 -- AH Book One Chapter 4.5
Adv Valent 17 -- AH Book One Chapter 4.5 - 5.1
Adv Valent 19 -- AH Book One Chapter 5. 1
Adv Valent 20 -- AH Book One Chapter 5.2
Adv Valent 21 -- AH Book One Chapter 5.3-4
Adv Valent 22 -- AH Book One Chapter 5.4
Adv Valent 23 -- AH Book One Chapter 5.4
Adv Valent 24 -- AH Book One Chapter 5.5
Adv Valent 25 -- AH Book One Chapter 5.6
Adv Valent 26 -- AH Book One Chapter 6.1
Adv Valent 27 -- AH Book One Chapter 7.2
Adv Valent 28 -- AH Book One Chapter 7.3,4
Adv Valent 29 -- AH Book One Chapter 7.5 AND 7.3
Adv Valent 30 -- AH Book One Chapter 6.2,4
Adv Valent 31 -- AH Book One Chapter 7.1
Adv Valent 32 -- AH Book One Chapter 7.1 AND 7.5
Adv Valent 33 -- AH Book One Chapter 12.1
Adv Valent 34 -- AH Book One Chapter 11.5
Adv Valent 35 -- AH Book One Chapter 11.5 (VERY CLOSELY)
Adv Valent 36 -- AH Book One Chapter 12.3
Adv Valent 37 -- AH Book One Chapter 11.3
Adv Valent 38 -- AH Book One Chapter 11.1
Adv Valent 39 -- AH Book One Chapter 12.3

In our next post in the series we are going to demonstrate that the missing sections of information here (i.e. AH chapters 8,9 and 10) were added by a later editor rather than Irenaeus). These sections are absolutely critical because it is here that we find the stuff about a 'universal Church' agreeing on orthodoxy, the heretics making cento gospels etc.

I am strongly leaning toward the idea that the new material was added in the fourth century owing to the interest in centos. As Scott McGill noted to us, the real period when centos flourished was the fourth century. The idea that the heretics were establishing gospels like centos (i.e. by moving passages from their original order) sounds very similar to the things that were going on this period. In other words, Irenaeus did not originally argue that there was one orthodox tradition, rather it was a fourth century editor who was taking original 'lectures' from the historical Irenaeus and arranging them in a new order (ironically again function as a composers of centos which were all the rave in the fourth century).

We certainly have demonstrated that there were many different versions of Irenaeus's writings. As Photius notes, when you got to the original 'lectures' there were a lot of hetero-orthodox opinions. One of the earliest attempts to organize Irenaeus's lectures occurred in the early third century. This text was known both to the author of the Philosophumena and survived in some form down to Photius. This was clearly the original version of Book One of the Five Books Against Heresies. Our surviving version of that text preserves only a 'centonized' version of the First Book.

The reader must have noticed by now that I consistently refrain from identify the Philosophumena as Hippolytus's Refutation of All Heresies. The reason for this of course is that not only do our existing manuscripts attribute the work to Origen but Photius makes clear we again do not possess the original text of this name:

Read the tractate of Hippolytus, the pupil of Irenaeus, entitled Against the Thirty-two Heresies. It begins with the Dositheans, and goes down to the heresies of Noetus and the Noetians, which he says were refuted by Irenaeus in his lectures, of which the present work is a synopsis. The style is clear, somewhat severe and free from redundancies, although it exhibits no tendency to atticism. Some of the statements are inaccurate, for instance, that the epistle to the Hebrews is not the work of the apostle Paul. Hippolytus is said to have addressed the people after the manner of Origen, with whom he was very intimate and whose writings he so much admired that he urged him to write a commentary on the Bible, for which purpose he supplied, at his own expense, seven shorthand writers and the same number of calligraphists. Having rendered this service, he persistently demanded the work, whence Origen, in one of his letters, calls him a "hustler." He is said to have written a large number of other works.(Bibl. 121)

The text mentioned here is so completely different from our surviving text that it is impossible to say they are the same work. This illustrates once again why we have to be so careful not to just assume that we preserve the originals of any patristic text or textual tradition. Pseduo-Tertullian's Against All Heresies presents yet another mutation of the original material developed ultimately from Irenaeus's lost work.

The point of course is that even though we must admit that Irenaeus's original material is almost completely lost to us, we can make what I think is one definitive statement about the principal later addition to our text of Book One. If we follow Photius's ordering of the material, it becomes plain that AH chapter 21, the termination of the discussion of redemption baptism, was originally followed by chapter 28, the doctrines of Tatian's Encratites.  This is absolutely critical to our understanding of the origins of the text.

For we have already noted several times that Epiphanius somehow thought that the last part of AH chapter 21 really did not belong to a description of the Marcosians per se but rather the Heraclitae. In other words, the stuff which mentions another baptism ritual being based on material related to Mark 10:35 - 45 (= the first addition to the Longer Gospel of Mark) is explicitly 'Marcosian' (= 'those of Mark') but all that follows, with its mention of 'others' and 'other sects' properly belongs to the Heraclitae:

For some of them prepare a nuptial couch, and perform a sort of mystic rite (pronouncing certain expressions) with those who are being initiated, and affirm that it is a spiritual marriage which is celebrated by them, after the likeness of the conjunctions above. Others, again, lead them to a place where water is, and baptize them, with the utterance of these words, "Into the name of the unknown Father of the universe--into truth, the mother of all things--into Him who descended on Jesus--into union, and redemption, and communion with the powers." Others still repeat certain Hebrew words, in order the more thoroughly to bewilder those who are being initiated, as follows: "Basema, Chamosse, Baoenaora, Mistadia, Ruada, Kousta, Babaphor, Kalachthei." The interpretation of these terms runs thus: "I invoke that which is above every power of the Father, which is called light, and good Spirit, and life, because Thou hast reigned in the body." Others, again, set forth the redemption thus: The name which is hidden from every deity, and dominion, and truth which Jesus of Nazareth was clothed with in the lives(2) of the light of Christ--of Christ, who lives by the Holy Ghost, for the angelic redemption. The name of restitution stands thus: Messia, Uphareg, Namempsoeman, Chaldoeaur, Mosomedoea, Acphranoe, Psaua, Jesus Nazaria. The interpretation of these words is as follows: "I do not divide the Spirit of Christ, neither the heart nor the supercelestial power which is merciful; may I enjoy Thy name, O Saviour of truth!" Such are words of the initiators; but he who is initiated, replies, "I am established, and I am redeemed; I redeem my soul from this age (world), and from all things connected with it in the name of Iao, who redeemed his own soul into redemption in Christ who liveth." Then the bystanders add these words, "Peace be to all on whom this name rests." After this they anoint the initiated person with balsam; for they assert that this unguent is a type of that sweet odour which is above all things.

But there are some of them who assert that it is superfluous to bring persons to the water, but mixing oil and water together, they place this mixture on the heads of those who are to be initiated, with the use of some such expressions as we have already mentioned. And this they maintain to be the redemption. They, too, are accustomed to anoint with balsam. Others, however, reject all these practices, and maintain that the mystery of the unspeakable and invisible power ought not to be performed by visible and corruptible creatures, nor should that of those [beings] who are inconceivable, and incorporeal, and beyond the reach of sense, [be performed] by such as are the objects of sense, and possessed of a body. These hold that the knowledge of the unspeakable Greatness is itself perfect redemption. For since both defect and passion flowed from ignorance, the whole substance of what was thus formed is destroyed by knowledge; and therefore knowledge is the redemption of the inner man. This, however, is not of a corporeal nature, for the body is corruptible; nor is it animal, since the animal soul is the fruit of a defect, and is, as it were, the abode of the spirit. The redemption must therefore be of a spiritual nature; for they affirm that the inner and spiritual man is redeemed by means of knowledge, and that they, having acquired the knowledge of all things, stand thenceforth in need of nothing else. This, then, is the true redemption.

Others still there are who continue to redeem persons even up to the moment of death, by placing on their heads oil and water, or the pre-mentioned ointment with water, using at the same time the above-named invocations, that the persons referred to may become incapable of being seized or seen by the principalities and powers, and that their inner man may ascend on high in an invisible manner, as if their body were left among created things in this world, while their soul is sent forward to the Demiurge. And they instruct them, on their reaching the principalities and powers, to make use of these words: "I am a son from the Father--the Father who had a pre-existence, and a son in Him who is pre-existent. I have come to behold all things, both those which belong to myself and others, although, strictly speaking, they do not belong to others, but to Achamoth, who is female in nature, and made these things for herself. For I derive being from Him who is pre-existent, and I come again to my own place whence I went forth." And they affirm that, by saying these things, he escapes from the powers. He then advances to the companions of the Demiurge, and thus addresses them:--"I am a vessel more precious than the female who formed you. If your mother is ignorant of her own descent, I know myself, and am aware whence I am, and I call upon the incorruptible Sophia, who is in the Father, and is the mother of your mother, who has no father, nor any male consort; but a female springing from a female formed you, while ignorant of her own mother, and imagining that she alone existed; but I call upon her mother." And they declare, that when the companions of the Demiurge hear these words, they are greatly agitated, and upbraid their origin and the race of their mother. But he goes into his own place, having thrown [off] his chain, that is, his animal nature. These, then, are the particulars which have reached us respecting "redemption." But since they differ so widely among themselves both as respects doctrine and tradition, and since those of them who are recognised as being most modern make it their effort daily to invent some new opinion, and to bring out what no one ever before thought of, it is a difficult matter to describe all their opinions. (AH 21.3 - 5)

Now we have already made the case that the name 'Heraclitae' would equally suit a group developed around a historical individual named 'Heraclas' or "Heracleon.' My assumption of course is that 'Mark' is really the apostolic figure who established the episcopal throne of Alexandria and the 'Heraclitae' were originally associated with the first Pope of Alexandria. The segue from 'Marcosians' to 'Heraclitae' would be utterly natural here.

Yet for the present moment it is enough for us to note that Photius makes clear that AH chapter 28 originally followed these last word. In other words, AH chapter 22 (which breaks off and trumpets the worldwide Church and the perpetual agreement of dogma from the time of the apostles), AH chapter 23 (which introduces Simon Magus in the wrong place - Photius's text of Against Heresies agreed with the one known to the Philosophumena) and all that follows is from a completely separate and later source.

Again none of this is at all radical because, as noted above, scholars have all noted that some or all of this material undoubtedly derived its origins from Justin's Syntagma. Scholars have long noted that Against Heresies account of Simon Magus is very different from that of the Philosophumena. Their respective accounts of Basilides and Marcion are completely unrelated. All that remains consistent is the basic form of the account of the Carpocratian sect, yet as Lawlor has demonstrated, the ultimate source for the information used by Irenaeus, the Philosophumena, Eusebius and Epiphanius is pseduo-Hegesippus's lost Hypomnemata. The reason all the accounts sound so similar is that they were basically drawing from a very well known original chronology already known to the pagan critic Celsus (c. 177 CE).

The point at last of all of this is that there is absolutely no proof whatsoever that the historical Irenaeus ever included any of these heresies in his original compendium. Photius does not mention them being present in his original copy of the Five Books Against Heresies and they were clearly unknown to the author of the Philosophumena. This clearly challenges the notion that 'Marcion' as we know him (or as presented in the fourth century 'centonized' text of Against Heresies) was ever known to Irenaeus.

What does emerge from our study here is that Photius's testimony reveals what we might call 'a handshake' or a link between the end of AH chapter 21 and the beginning of AH chapter 28. In other words that the lines:

And they declare, that when the companions of the Demiurge hear these words, they are greatly agitated, and upbraid their origin and the race of their mother. But he goes into his own place, having thrown [off] his chain, that is, his animal nature. These, then, are the particulars which have reached us respecting "redemption." But since they differ so widely among themselves both as respects doctrine and tradition, and since those of them who are recognised as being most modern make it their effort daily to invent some new opinion, and to bring out what no one ever before thought of, it is a difficult matter to describe all their opinions

were originally followed by what appears at the beginning of the chapter which deals with the followers of Tatian now seven chapter later:

This arises from the fact that numbers of them--indeed, we may say all--desire themselves to be teachers, and to break off from the particular heresy in which they have been involved. Forming one set of doctrines out of a totally different system of opinions, and then again others from others, they insist upon teaching something new, declaring themselves the inventors of any sort of opinion which they may have been able to call into existence.

The fourth century editor has of course had to link the material to the long section of reports added from sources other than Irenaeus:

To give an example: Springing from Saturninus and Marcion, those who are called Encratites (self-controlled) preached against marriage ...

But the original text so perfectly follows the end of AH chapter 21 and moreover that Photius explicitly tells us that this account of Tatian's sect immediately followed the developing account of the Valentinian sects that it should be impossible to disagree with this assumption. The account continues:

It is but lately, however, that this opinion has been invented among them. A certain man named Tatian first introduced the blasphemy. He was a hearer of Justin's, and as long as he continued with him he expressed no such views; but after his martyrdom he separated from the Church, and, excited and puffed up by the thought of being a teacher, as if he were superior to others, he composed his own peculiar type of doctrine. He invented a system of certain invisible AEons, like the followers of Valentinus ... (see above)

Indeed it is worth noting that the Book Six of the Philosophumena concludes with the same ending to AH chapter 21 as noted above:

and in addition to these (points, they lay down) that the Demiurge of the supernal Ogdoad, desirous of imitating the indefinite, and everlasting, and illimitable (one), and (the one) not subject to the condition of time; and (the Demiurge) not being able to represent the stability and eternity of this (Ogdoad), on account of his being the fruit of the Hysterema, to this end appointed times, and seasons, and numbers, measuring many years in reference to the eternity of this (Ogdoad), thinking by the multitude of times to imitate its indefiniteness. And here they say, when Truth eluded his pursuit, that Falsehood followed close upon him; and that on account of this, when the times were fulfilled, his work underwent dissolution.

These assertions, then, those who are of the school of Valentinus advance concerning both the creation and the universe, in each case propagating opinions still more empty. And they suppose this to constitute productiveness (in their system), if any one in like manner, making some greater discovery, will appear to work wonders. And finding, (as they insinuate,) each of the particulars of Scripture to accord with the aforesaid numbers, they (attempt to) criminate Moses and the prophets, alleging that these speak allegorically of the measures of the Aeons. And inasmuch as these statements are trifling and unstable, it does not appear to me expedient to bring them before (the reader. This, however, is the less requisite,) as now the blessed presbyter Irenaeus has powerfully and elaborately refuted the opinions of these (heretics). And to him we are indebted for a knowledge of their inventions, (and have thereby succeeded in) proving that these heretics, appropriating these opinions from the Pythagorean philosophy, and from over-spun theories of the astrologers, cast an imputation upon Christ, as though He had delivered these (doctrines). But since I suppose that the worthless opinions of these men have been sufficiently explained, and that it has been clearly proved whose disciples are Marcus and Colarbasus, who were successors of the school of Valentinus, let us see what statement likewise Basilides advances.

In other words, the author of the Philosophumena has stopped following the original text of Book One of the Five Books Against Heresies and decided to add a great deal of new information. This follows a pattern we have already seen in our fourth century copies of Against Heresies.

As previously noted the author of the Philosophumena adds a completely different account of Basilides and Marcion and a number of different sects. He then rejoins the original text of Against Heresies later in Book Eight when he writes:

Tatian, however, although being himself a disciple of Justinus the Martyr, did not entertain similar opinions with his master. But he attempted (to establish) certain novel (tenets), and affirmed that there existed certain invisible AEons. And he framed a legendary account (of them), similarly to those (spoken of) by Valentinus. And similarly with Marcion, he asserts that marriage is destruction. But he alleges that Adam is not saved on account of his having been the author of disobedience. And so far for the doctrines of Tatian.

If we compare with what appears now in the First Book of Against Heresies there can be absolutely no question that our text of 'Irenaeus' represents an expansion of these words:

A certain man named Tatian first introduced the blasphemy. He was a hearer of Justin's, and as long as he continued with him he expressed no such views; but after his martyrdom he separated from the Church, and, excited and puffed up by the thought of being a teacher, as if he were superior to others, he composed his own peculiar type of doctrine. He invented a system of certain invisible AEons, like the followers of Valentinus; while, like Marcion and Saturninus, he declared that marriage was nothing else than corruption and fornication. But his denial of Adam's salvation was an opinion due entirely to himself. Others, again, following upon Basilides and Carpocrates, have introduced promiscuous intercourse and a plurality of wives, and are indifferent about eating meats sacrificed to idols, maintaining that God does not greatly regard such matters. But why continue? For it is an impracticable attempt to mention all those who, in one way or another, have fallen away from the truth.

The editor of Against Heresies has clearly rejected the original account of Marcion as the author of the Gospel of Mark and the like and inserted not only a new account of this heretic but many others just mentioned. 'Saturninus' isn't even mentioned in the Philosophumena. Instead 'Saturnilus' is placed between Basilides and Marcion.

The point of course is that only when we look to the Philosophumena can we see the original connecting thread between the original edition of Against Heresies Book One known to its author, Hippolytus and Photius. While the author of Philosophumena adds topical details of the heretic Hermogenes (known also to Theophilus and whose original report was copied by Tertullian), the Quartodecimians and the Montanists we return to the original report on Tatian's sect the Encratites (strangely excised from their original association with Tatian):

Others, however, styling themselves Encratites, acknowledge some things concerning God and Christ in like manner with the Church. In respect, however, of their mode of life, they pass their days inflated with pride. They suppose, that by meats they magnify themselves, while abstaining from animal food, (and) being water-drinkers, and forbidding to marry, and devoting themselves during the remainder of life to habits of asceticism. But persons of this description are estimated Cynics rather than Christians, inasmuch as they do not attend unto the words spoken against them through the Apostle Paul. Now he, predicting the novelties that were to be hereafter introduced ineffectually by certain (heretics), made a statement thus: "The Spirit speaketh expressly, In the latter times certain will depart from sound doctrine, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils, uttering falsehoods in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron, forbidding to marry, to abstain from meats, which God has created to be partaken of with thanksgiving by the faithful, and those who know the truth; because every creature of God is good, and nothing to be rejected which is received with thanksgiving; for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer." This voice, then, of the blessed Paul, is sufficient for the refutation of those who live in this manner, and plume themselves on being just; (and) for the purpose of proving that also, this (tenet of the Encratites) constitutes a heresy. But even though there have been denominated certain other heresies--I mean those of the Cainites, Ophites, or Noachites, and of others of this description--I have not deemed it requisite to explain the things said or done by these, test on this account they may consider themselves somebody, or deserving of consideration. Since, however, the statements concerning these appear to be sufficient, let us pass on to the cause of evils to all, (viz.,) the heresy of the Noetians. Now, after we have laid bare the root of this (heresy), and stigmatized openly the venom, as it were, lurking within it, let us seek to deter from an error of this description those who have been impelled into it by a violent spirit, as it were by a swollen torrent.

We have already seen that the original material associated with Tatian and his sect has been worked. There can be no doubt about this given that what appears in the Philosophumena now has been reworked from the text that originally stood behind the account of Against Heresies chapter 28. Yet now the author of the Philosophumena is clearly acknowledging that he has passed over what originally followed the account of Tatian's sect in his lost and very different version of Book One of Against Heresies.

We should take a closer look then at this concluding statement in Book Eight of the Philosophumena, which immediately follows the account of the Encratites:

... there have been denominated certain other heresies--I mean those of the Cainites, Ophites, or Noachites, and of others of this description - I have not deemed it requisite to explain the things said or done by these, test on this account they may consider themselves somebody, or deserving of consideration. Since, however, the statements concerning these appear to be sufficient, let us pass on to the cause of evils to all, (viz.,) the heresy of the Noetians. (Phil. 8.13)

Photius tells us of course that Hippolytus's lost original Against the Thirty Two Heresies:

begins with the Dositheans, and goes down to the heresies of Noetus and the Noetians, which he says were refuted by Irenaeus in his lectures, of which the present work is a synopsis.

The point then is that Photius looked at the differences between his copy of the First Book of Against Heresies and Hippolytus's text and recognized that the ending was lengthened by adding material about the Noetians which Photius claims came from Irenaeus's original 'lectures.' It has of course been our contention from the very start that this is the manner in which the Five Books of Against Heresies were originally composed - i.e. a 'bundling' together of original disconnected material from Irenaeus by a later editor.

Yet let us now reinforce that our Book One of Against Heresies is not the same as that of Hippolytus, the author of the Philosophumena and Photius. For Photius says again that in his Book One:

Valentinus and his impious heresy are discussed, begins as far back as Simon Magus and goes down to Tatian, who, at first a disciple of Justin Martyr, afterwards fell headlong into heresy. It also deals with those who are properly called Gnostics and the Cainites, setting forth their abominable doctrines

It is difficult to say whether there is actually a difference of order in this account. For the account of Photius agrees with the basic ordering of what follows the account of the Encratites in AH chapter 28. Indeed AH chapter 29 begins with the words:

a multitude of Gnostics have sprung up, and have been manifested like mushrooms growing out of the ground. I now proceed to describe the principal opinions held by them. Some of them, then, set forth a certain AEon who never grows old, and exists in a virgin spirit: him they style Barbelos (AH 1.29.1)

From here the account proceeds to deal with the Ophites, Sethians and Cainites. It is difficult to make the case that the Philosophumena necessarily had a different text owing to the fact that it merely reverses the order i.e. "those who are properly called Gnostics and the Cainites."

What is clear however is that even in the Philosophumena the section which introduces the Noetians represents something very different from what preceded it. One of the principle reasons why scholars have been so eager to identify the Philosophumena as a product of Hippolytus's hand is the fact that it goes out of its way to slander his opponent, Pope Callixtus. This process of interweaving what we know to have been an original lecture from Irenaeus about a certain 'Noetus' with a defamatory piece about the current Pope and his predecessor Zephrynus opens the door to very interesting questions about the person of Irenaeus and how closely tied he was to the other bits of information used by Hippolytus:

A lengthened conflict, then, having been maintained concerning all heresies by us who, at all events, have not left any unrefuted, the greatest struggle now remains behind, viz., to furnish an account and refutation of those heresies that have sprung up in our own day, by which certain ignorant and presumptuous men have attempted to scatter abroad the Church, and have introduced the greatest confusion among all the faithful throughout the entire world. For it seems expedient that we, making an onslaught upon the opinion which constitutes the prime source of (contemporaneous) evils, should prove what are the originating principles of this (opinion), in order that its offshoots, becoming a matter of general notoriety, may be made the object of universal scorn.

There has appeared one, Noetus by name, and by birth a native of Smyrna. This person introduced a heresy from the tenets of Heraclitus. Now a certain man called Epigonus becomes his minister and pupil, and this person during his sojourn at Rome disseminated his godless opinion. But Cleomenes, who had become his disciple, an alien both in way of life and habits from the Church, was wont to corroborate the (Noetian) doctrine. At that time, Zephyrinus imagines that he administers the affairs of the Church --an uninformed and shamefully corrupt man. And he, being persuaded by proffered gain, was accustomed to connive at those who were present for the purpose of becoming disciples of Cleomenes. But (Zephyrinus) himself, being in process of time enticed away, hurried headlong into the same opinions; and he had Callistus as his adviser, and a fellow-champion of these wicked tenets. But the life of this (Callistus), and the heresy invented by him, I shall after a little explain. The school of these heretics during the succession of such bishops, continued to acquire strength and augmentation, from the fact that Zephyrinus and Callistus helped them to prevail. Never at any time, however, have we been guilty of collusion with them; but we have frequently offered them opposition, and have refuted them, and have forced them reluctantly to acknowledge the truth. And they, abashed and constrained by the truth, have confessed their errors for a short period, but after a little, wallow once again in the same mire.(Phil. 9.1,2)

In the end, we must conclude that the Philosophumena was attributed to Origen for a very good reason. The original author was clearly not Hippolytus himself but a later figure - probably not Origen, but someone attached to Hippolytus who reworked his original 'syntagma' into a fuller philosophical exposition. The results of our analysis make clear that Hippolytus, the author of the Philosophumena and Photius retained a very different text of Irenaeus which differed from our own text in some very significant ways. It is difficult to see why these changes were made but at the same time there can be no doubt that this alterations were indeed carried out. As we shall see in our next exposition by carrying out a closer examination on the material not found in Against the Valentinians these changes were most likely done in the fourth century.

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