Thursday, December 22, 2011

Sightings of 'Secret Mark' in the Church Fathers: Cyprian's De Lapsis

The truth, brethren, must not be disguised; nor must the matter and cause of our wound be concealed. A blind love of one’s own property has deceived many; nor could they be prepared for, or at ease in, departing when their wealth fettered them like a chain. Those were the chains to them that remained—those were the bonds by which both virtue was retarded, and faith burdened, and the spirit bound, and the soul hindered; so that they who were involved in earthly desires might become a booty and food for the serpent, which, according to God’s sentence, feeds upon earth. And therefore the Lord the teacher of good things, forewarning for the future time, says, “If thou wilt be perfect, go, sell all that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.” If rich men did this, they would not perish by their riches; if they laid up treasure in heaven, they would not now have a domestic enemy and assailant. Heart and mind and feeling would be in heaven, if the treasure were in heaven; nor could he be overcome by the world who had nothing in the world whereby he could be bound. He would follow the Lord loosed and free, as did the apostles, and many in the times of the apostles, and as some have often done since, leaving their parents and possessions to bind themselves inseparably to Christ. [de Lapsis 11]

The pattern of scriptural citations in this text resemble exactly what Cosaert noticed about Clement of Alexandria - i.e. the only Markan passages being Mark 8:38 and Mark chapter 10.  Odd.

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