Thursday, November 20, 2014

65. the gospel of Marcion had Matthew 7:17

It is well, therefore, that he premised the attribute of the most good God as most patient over the wicked, and most abundant in mercy and kindness over such as acknowledged and bewailed their sins, as the Ninevites were then doing. For if He who has this attribute is the Most Good, you will have first to relinquish that position of yours, that the very contact with evil is incompatible with such a Being, that is, with the most good God. And because Marcion, too, maintains that a good tree ought not to produce bad fruit; but yet he has mentioned "evil" (in the passage under discussion), which the most good God is incapable of,308 is there forthcoming any explanation of these "evils," which may render them compatible with even the most Good? [Tertullian Adv Marc 2.24.3 KROYMANN Aem., CCL 1 (1954),(p.502, l.5) BP1]

Now, if the world is a fault, as is the body, such must be its parts----faulty too; so in like manner must be the heaven and its celestial (contents), and everything which is conceived and produced out of it. And "a corrupt tree must needs bring forth evil fruit." The flesh of Christ, therefore, if composed of celestial elements, consists of faulty materials, sinful by reason of its sinful origin;124 so that it must be a part of that substance which they disdain to clothe Christ with, because of its sinfulness,----in other words, our own. [Tertullian De Carne Christi 8.4 KROYMANN Aem., CCL 2 (1954),(p.890, l.21) BP1]
After him arose his disciple, Marcion by name, from Pontus, the son of a bishop, who was expelled from the communion of the church because of the seduction of a certain virgin. Since it was said, "Every good tree bears good fruit, and an evil tree evil" [Matt 7:17], he ventured to assent to the heresy of Cerdo and to say the same things as the earlier heretic had said before [Pseudo-Tertullian 6.2 trans Robert McQueen Grant Second Century Christianity p. 78 - 79]
Pseudo-Tertullian (Against Heresies) 6.2 makes Marcion cite Matt. 7:17. Fil. 45.2 gives both citations, opening the possibility that this author knew Epiph as well as Hipp. Synt. Matt. 7:17 is referred to at Hipp. Refut. 10.19.3 and at Tert. Adv. Marc. 3.15.5; 4.11.10.[Frank Williams Epiphanius Panarion p. 295]
An evil tree cannot but bring forth evil fruits. In that case the flesh of Christ, being composed of things from the sky, consists of elements of sin, and is sinful by reason of its sinful origin, and will from its very nature be part of that substance, our substance, with which, as being sinful, they think shame to besmirch Christ. [Tertullian De Carne Christi 7]

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