Friday, November 21, 2014

Matthew 15,8, 9

Now, although He has in a certain place expressed an aversion of Sabbaths, by calling them your Sabbaths, reckoning them as men's Sabbaths, not His own, because they were celebrated without the fear of God by a people full of iniquities, and loving God "with the lip, not the heart," He has yet put His own Sabbaths (those, that is, which were kept according to His prescription) in a different position; for by the same prophet, in a later passage,411 He declared them to be "true, and delightful, and inviolable." [Tertullian Adv Marc 4.12.13 KROYMANN Aem., CCL 1 (1954),(p.571, l.2) BP1]

Will it be he who had as yet never been called on, because never yet revealed; or He who was ever regarded as the Lord, because known from the beginning----even the God of the Jews? Who, again, could possibly have added, "and do not the things which I say? "Could it have been he who was only then doing his best to teach them? Or He who from the beginning had addressed to them His messages both by the law and the prophets? He could then upbraid them with disobedience, even if He had no ground at any time else for His reproof. The fact is, that He who was then imputing to them their ancient obstinacy was none other than He who, before the coming of Christ, had addressed to them these words, "This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart standeth far off from me." Otherwise, how absurd it were that a new god, a new Christ, the revealer of a new and so grand a religion should denounce as obstinate and disobedient those whom he had never had it in his power to make trial of! [Tertullian Adv Marc 4.17.13 KROYMANN Aem., CCL 1 (1954),(p.588, l.5) BP1]

I advise you therefore (willingly) to acknowledge the Creator in that god of yours, rather than against your will to be assimilating your excellent god to Him. For in the case of Peter, too, he gives you proof that he is a jealous God, when he destined the apostle, after his presumptuous protestations of zeal, to a flat denial of him, rather than prevent his fall. The Christ of the prophets was destined, moreover, to be betrayed with a kiss, for He was the Son indeed of Him who was "honoured with the lips" by the people. When led before the council, He is asked whether He is the Christ. Of what Christ could the Jews have inquired but their own? Why, therefore, did He not, even at that moment, declare to them the rival (Christ)? You reply, In order that He might be able to suffer. In other words, that this most excellent god might plunge men into crime, whom he was still keeping in ignorance. But even if he had told them, he would yet have to suffer [Tertullian Adv Marc 4.41.2 KROYMANN Aem., CCL 1 (1954),(p.658, l.24) BP1]

We are quite aware that some passages are open to ambiguity, from the way in which they are read, or else from their punctuation, when there is room for these two causes of ambiguity. The latter method has been adopted by Marcion, by reading the passage which follows, "in whom the God of this world," as if it described the Creator as the God of this world, in order that he may, by these words, imply that there is another God for the other world. We, however, say that the passage ought to be punctuated with a comma after God, to this effect: "In whom God hath blinded the eyes of the unbelievers of this world." "In whom" means the Jewish unbelievers, from some of whom the gospel is still hidden under Moses' veil. Now it is these whom God had threatened for "loving Him indeed with the lip, whilst their heart was far from Him," in these angry words: "Ye shall hear with your ears, and not understand; and see with your eyes, but not perceive; " and, "If ye will not believe, ye shall not understand; " and again, "I will take away the wisdom of their wise men, and bring to nought the understanding of their prudent ones."  But these words, of course, He did not pronounce against them for concealing the gospel of the unknown God.[Tertullian Adv Marc 5.11.9 (p.698, l.6) BP1]

None but those which they were accumulating of their own accord, when they taught for commandments the doctrines of men; for the sake of private advantage joining house to house, so as to deprive their neighbour of his own; cajoling the people, loving gifts, pursuing rewards, robbing the poor of the rights of judgment, that they might have the widow for a prey and the fatherless for a spoil. Of these Isaiah also says, "Woe unto them that are strong in Jerusalem!" and again, "They that demand you shall rule over you." And who did this more than the lawyers? Now, if these offended Christ, it was as belonging to Him that they offended Him. He would have aimed no blow at the teachers of an alien law. [Tertullian Adv Marc 4.27.7 KROYMANN Aem., CCL 1 (1954), (p.620, l.4) BP1]

They were affected indeed with zeal for God, but it was not an intelligent zeal: they were, in fact, ignorant of Him, because they were ignorant of His dispensations by Christ, who was to bring about the consummation of the law; and in this way did they maintain their own righteousness in opposition to Him. But so does the Creator Himself testify to their ignorance concerning Him: "Israel hath not known me; my people have not understood me; " and as to their preferring the establishment of their own righteousness, (the Creator again describes them as) "teaching for doctrines the commandments of men; " moreover, as "having gathered themselves together against the Lord and against His Christ"----from ignorance of Him, of course. Now nothing can be expounded of another god which is applicable to the Creator; otherwise the apostle would not have been just in reproaching the Jews with ignorance in respect of a god of whom they knew nothing. [Tertullian Adv Marc 5.14.8 KROYMANN Aem., CCL 1 (1954)(p.706, l.24) BP1]

Email with comments or questions.

Stephan Huller's Observations by Stephan Huller
is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License.