Sunday, December 2, 2012

A Common Source (= Irenaeus) Behind Tertullian and Epiphanius's Knowledge of the Marcionite Canon [Part Three]

Epiphanius Panarion 43 Scholion 2 'But that ye may know that the Son of Man hath power to forgive sins upon earth.'

Elenchus 2. If he calls himself 'Son of Man,' the Only-begotten does not deny his humanity, and there is no use in your yapping about his being manifest in appearance. And if he has authority on earth, the earth is not foreign to his creations and his Father's.

Tertullian Against Marcion 4.10:

Also a palsied man is healed, and that amidst a throng, with the people looking on. For, says Isaiah, the people shall see the excellency of the Lord, and the glory of God. What excel- lency, and what glory? Be strengthened, ye weak hands, and ye en- feebled knees—which indicates paralysis. Be strengthened, fear not.a Not without purpose does he twice say Be strengthened, nor to no effect does he add Fear not, because along with renewal of limbs he was promising also a restoration of strength: Arise and take up thy bed: as well as firmness of mind, so as not to be afraid of those who would ask, Who shall forgive sins but God alone? Here then you find fulfilled the prophecy of a particular form of healing, as well as of matters consequent upon the healing. In the same prophet likewise you may recognize Christ as one who forgives sins: Be- cause, he says, among very many he shall forgive their sins, and, He himself taketh away our sins. For also earlier on, our Lord in person speaking: Though your sins be as scarlet, I will make them white as snow: though they be as crimson, I will make them white as wool,c indicating by scarlet the blood of the prophets, and by crimson the blood of our Lord, as more noble. Also Micah, concerning forgiveness of sins, Who is a God like unto thee, who takest away iniquities and passest over injustices for the residue of thine inheri- tance? And he retained not his wrath for a testimony, because he desired there should be mercy. He will turn back, he will have mercy upon us: he will overwhelm our iniquities, and overwhelm our sins in the depth of the sea. Yet even though nothing of this sort had been foretold in respect of Christ, I should have in the Creator instances of this kindness, such as promise me in the Son too the affections of the Father. I see the men of Nineveh obtaining from the Creator the forgive- ness of their crimes—or I should rather say 'from Christ', because even from the beginning he has acted in the Father's name. I read also that when David confessed his sin against Uriah, Nathan the prophet said, Also the Lord hath cancelled out thy sin and thou shall not die:e also that king Ahab, the husband of Jezebel, guilty of idolatry and of the blood of Naboth, earned pardon on account of repentance:f and that Jonathan the son of Saul wiped out by deprecation the guilt of a broken fast.g Why need I tell of the nation itself so often restored by forgiveness of sins—by that God who would rather have mercy than sacrifice, and a sinner's repentance rather than his death?  First then you have to deny that the Creator ever forgave sins, and secondly you have to prove that he never prophesied anything of that kind regarding his Christ: only so will you prove the newness of the kindness of your new Christ, if you succeed in proving that it is neither character- istic of the Creator nor prophesied of by the Creator. But whether the forgiving of sins can be in character with one who is said not to notice them, or whether one can absolve who cannot if neces- sary condemn, or whether there is any consistency in pardon being granted by one against whom no offence has been committed, this I have already discussed, and prefer now to draw attention to that, and not to discuss it again. On the expression Son of man my postulates are two: first that Christ was incapable of lying, so as to declare himself the Son of man if he was not really so: and that no one can be accepted as Son of man who is not of human birth, either on the father's side or the mother's: and this will call for discussion, on what side his human birth must be taken to be, the father's or the mother's. Now if he is from God as father, certainly his father is not a man: if his father is not a man, the only thing left is for him to be of a human mother: and if of a human it is already evident that she is a virgin. For as there is ascribed to him no human father, neither can his mother be reckoned to have a husband: and to whom no husband is reckoned, is a virgin. Otherwise there will be two fathers involved, God and a man, if his mother is not a virgin. For she has to have a husband, if she is not to be a virgin, and by having a husband she will cause him who was to be the Son of God and of man to have two fathers, God and a man. That perhaps is the sort of nativity the old tales ascribe to Castor and Hercules. But if the distinctions are made in this form, that is, if on his mother's side he is the Son of man because he is not the Son of man on his father's side, and if his mother is a virgin because he has no man for his father, this must be Isaiah's Christ whom he prophesies that a virgin will conceive. By what reasoning then, Marcion, you accept Son of man I am unable to understand. If son of a human father, you deny that he is the Son of God: if son of God as well, you are making Christ into Hercules out of the old story: if only his mother was human, you admit that he is mine: if neither father nor mother was human, then he is not the son of man at all, and we must conclude that he told a lie when he called himself something that he was not. One thing alone can get you out of these straits—if you are bold enough either to give your god, the father of Christ, the name of Man, which is what Valentinus did with the aeon, or else to deny that the virgin is human, which is a thing not even Valentinus has done. Next, what if in Daniel Christ is dignified with this actual title, Son of man ? i Is not this good enough proof that Christ is the subject of prophecy? For when he calls himself by that title which was in prophecy applied to the Christ of the Creator, without question he offers himself for recognition as that one to whom the prophecy applied. Joint possession of names, perhaps, can be regarded as having no special significance—though even so I maintain that persons possessed of opposite characteristics had no right to be called either Christ or Jesus. But a title, such as 'Son of man', arises from attendant circumstances, and to that extent it is not easy for it to have any pertinence beyond the possession of the same name. Arising from attendant circumstances, it is applicable to one person alone, especially when there is no recurrence of the same cause for which it could become a joint possession. So then if Marcion's Christ too were reported to be of human birth, in that case he also would be eligible for joint possession of the title, and there would be two sons of man, as there would be two named Christ and Jesus. Therefore since this title belongs to that one alone to whom it has reason to apply, if it is also claimed for another, one in whom there is joint possession of the name though not of the title, the joint possession of the name too falls under suspicion in the case of the one for whom without good reason is claimed joint possession of the title. So it follows that we must take it to be one and the same Person whom we believe more capable of possessing both the name and the title, to the exclusion of the other who, having no good reason for it, is not in joint possession of the title. Nor can anyone be found more capable of possessing both than he who first came into possession of the name of Christ and the title Son of man, namely

Irenaeus Against Heresies 3.22:

Those, therefore, who allege that He took nothing from the Virgin do greatly err, [since,] in order that they may cast away the inheritance of the flesh, they also reject the analogy [between Him and Adam]. For if the one [who sprang] from the earth had indeed formation and substance from both the hand and workmanship of God, but the other not from the hand and workmanship of God, then He who was made after the image and likeness of the former did not, in that case, preserve the analogy of man, and He must seem an inconsistent piece of work, not having wherewith He may show His wisdom. But this is to say, that He also appeared putatively as man when He was not man, and that He was made man while taking nothing from man. For if He did not receive the substance of flesh from a human being, He neither was made man nor the Son of man; and if He was not made what we were, He did no great thing in what He suffered and endured. But every one will allow that we are a body taken from the earth, and a soul receiving spirit from God. This, therefore, the Word of God was made, recapitulating in Himself His own handiwork; and on this account does He confess Himself the Son of man, and blesses the meek, because they shall inherit the earth. The Apostle Paul, moreover, in the Epistle to the Galatians, declares plainly, God sent His Son, made of a woman. [Galatians 4:4] And again, in that to the Romans, he says, Concerning His Son, who was made of the seed of David according to the flesh, who was predestinated as the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord. . Superfluous, too, in that case is His descent into Mary; for why did He come down into her if He were to take nothing of her? Still further, if He had taken nothing of Mary, He would never have availed Himself of those kinds of food which are derived from the earth, by which that body which has been taken from the earth is nourished; nor would He have hungered, fasting those forty days, like Moses and Elias, unless His body was craving after its own proper nourishment; nor, again, would John His disciple have said, when writing of Him, But Jesus, being wearied with the journey, was sitting [to rest]; nor would David have proclaimed of Him beforehand, They have added to the grief of my wounds; nor would He have wept over Lazarus, nor have sweated great drops of blood; nor have declared, My soul is exceeding sorrowful; nor, when His side was pierced, would there have come forth blood and water. For all these are tokens of the flesh which had been derived from the earth, which He had recapitulated in Himself, bearing salvation to His own handiwork.

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