Saturday, July 6, 2013

Tertullian on the 'Hiddeness' of the Marcionite God

"God can never keep himself hidden, can never be unattainable: he must at all times be understood, be heard, even be seen, in such manner as he will. God has his evidences, all this that we are, and in which we are. Such is the proof that he is God, is the one God, this fact that he is not unknown, while that other one is even yet struggling after recognition. 'And so he ought to be', they reply: 'any man is better known to his own than to aliens.' I admit that: I insist on it. For how can there be anything alien to God, when any god there were could have nothing alien to him? For it is characteristic of God that all things are his, and all things his concern. If they were not, we should at once object, 'What then has he to do with things alien to him?' But we shall deal with this more fully in its own context. For the moment it is enough that one is proved to be nobody if nothing is proved to belong to him. For just as the Creator is God, and God beyond all doubt, for the reason that all things are his and that nothing is alien to him, so also any other is not a god, precisely because all things are not his, and there- fore are alien to him. In fact, if the whole universe belongs to the Creator, I see no room at all for a second god: all things are fully occupied by their own begetter. If there is among created things any empty space for some divinity, evidently it must be empty for a false divinity. The truth is made manifest by the lie. All that great multitude of false gods ought somewhere to have found room for Marcion's god." [Tertullian, Adv. Marc. 1.11]

But who then - or what god - is the איש of the Pentateuch and proof is there that he worked 'under orders' from the Creator? The Marcionites would have a point.

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