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S. Ephraim's Prose Refutations of Mani, Marcion and Bardaisan. Transcribed from the Palimpsest B.M. Add. 14623 by C. W. MITCHELL, M.A., volume 1  (1912). Fifth Discourse to Hypatius against the False Teachings.


True, unlike false, obedience will not listen to seductive Heresy.

BUT true obedience is the likeness of a pure betrothed (maiden), who is not drawn after the voices of strangers; and the ear which turns aside a little from the Truth is like the Adulteress who turns aside from her consort; and the ear which is led to all Teachings is like the harlot who is persuaded by every one [P. 124, l.38.] who calls her. Let us, therefore, refute that erring obedience which is infected by the words of the liar, which, instead of the name of the true Bridegroom, loves the name of its corrupter. For it has consented that the name of Mani should be proclaimed over it, and not the name of the Messiah.

See how Mani, the last of the great heretics, is refuted by Ezek. viii.

And because this is the Teaching which comes from the party of Marcion and Valentinus and Bardaisan and he is the last of all, that is to say, the dregs, lower than that above him, so this one (i.e., Mani) is more abominable than those before him. But in the evil times of the world this Teaching has sprung up in the world's latter time. And because it has fought much against the Truth, let us speak a little against it, and it is not [P. 125, l.18.] we, but the Truth which speaks against it. But the substance of this Teaching while appearing small and insignificant to those simple ones who are not acquainted with it is like the hole which the Blessed Ezekiel saw in the wall. For though that hole was insignificant and small, great evils and numerous abominations and the secret things of shame were inside it. [Ezek.viii. 8.] But that passage (of Scripture) which commanded Ezekiel to dig in the wall which was a veil over the hateful things, by the power of that holy passage, let us also remove the veil of this foul teaching so that the hated things inside it may be exposed. |xciii But I do not wish to speak of all of them because they are [P. 126.] unclean, just as the holy Prophet was unable to make his mouth a channel for the hateful filth. . . .

Mani's paintings.

But let us be like the illustrious Prophet (observing) how, as often as it was possible for him to say (something), he said (it); also (let us observe) what he said, also that he did not (utter) all these things, but only some of them, those things which are omitted being intelligible to the wise by means of these things which are uttered. Therefore the holy Voice commanded [Ezek. viii. 9, 10.] the Prophet obedient in everything (and said) 'go in and see the great abominations which they are doing here.' And he went in and saw all the idols of the House of Israel portrayed on the wall. So also Mani painted in colours on a scroll — as some of his disciples say—the likenesses of the wickedness which he created out of his mind, placing on hideous (pictures) the name of the Sons of the Darkness that it might declare to his disciples the ugliness of the Darkness that they might abhor it, and placing on beautiful things the name of the Sons of the Light "in order that its beauty may in itself indicate to them that they should [P. 127.] desire it," as he said, "I have written them in books and pictured them in colours; let him who hears them in words also see them in an image, and let him who is unable to learn them from . . . learn them from pictures." And perhaps he actually worships these likenesses which are pictured there.

The "Righteous" Women, among the Manichaeans.

But the Voice said again to the Prophet: [Ezek. viii. 13, 14.] 'Turn again and see greater abominations than these'; and he went in and saw women sitting and weeping for Tammuz. And wherein was this abomination greater than the first ones except that those images of heathenism were considered to be images of the living God, whereas here Tammuz is being worshipped and bewailed, idle and adulterous as he is? So on this account this abomination was greater than those. And, therefore, corresponding to those vain mourning women who were bewailing the god Tammuz who was slain on account of his adultery by a wild boar,—whom, moreover, they suppose to be a god,—come see here also those idle women of the party of Mani—those whom they call [P. 128.] 'the Righteous Ones' (ZADDIQATHA), because they multiply wickedness. For they also are idle, and sit on account of the Bright |xciv Ones (ZIWANE), the Sons of the Light, "whom the Darkness came forth and swallowed."

Manichaean worship of the Luminaries. Mani's teaching about an all containing Space.

[Ezek. viii.15, 16.] Again He who commanded said to him who was commanded : "Turn again and see greater abominations than these"; and he went in and saw between the porch and the altar—for beside the porch was built the altar of their offerings—"about twenty-five men with their backs to the Temple of the Lord." But by the word 'backs' he means their nakedness. And by reason of this ignominy which they displayed over against the Temple of the Holy One, this sin was greater than the first ones, and the middle ones; and these, it is said, were rising early and worshipping the Sun. And in the case of these it is written that they worshipped only the Sun; but Mani went on to teach his disciples to worship the Moon. For they worship the Sun and the Moon, luminaries by which those who worehip them become dark. But when the Sun comes to the West [P. 129.] they worship the West, as do the Marcionites their brethren. For it was right that by this worship the common kinship should be manifested. And because the name of . . .

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[L. 20.] who said . . . that a place (?) limits him who can be limited; [L. 27.] they wish (?) to flee from him. . . . For if the heaven is enclosed (?) by a gulf which any one wishes to cross . . . [L. 33.] how much more exceedingly is He in every place whom gulfs and places are not able (to contain)! But these abominations which Ezekiel saw, perhaps they are allegories . . . the Manichaeans believe thus. For he assumed at the beginning two Entities and two Domains, and two Elements, and two Roots. Let him, therefore, be asked about the two if there are only two; [P. 130, l.4.] for each of these two because it is a single thing, must be altogether like itself. But if there is in it anything which is not like it, it is falsely called one. For it is clear that that thing which is not like it in nature is not part of its nature. Let us hear, therefore, when he explains (the change of) one into many which are not like it in nature, nor is it like them, nor are these like those. And first of all he assumes a Space, and how is a Space |xcv like God? For one limits and the other is unlimited; and one confines and the other is not confined; and the one has Personality and Knowledge and Power and Wisdom, and in Him (?) are Grace and Freedom, and the other has none of these things, though concerning the nature of the Space there is an undeniably great discussion. For not only is the Space not like God, but [neither is it like] itself (i.e., homogeneous), (being) [Cf. p.lxxvi.18 ff.] dark and luminous as they say it is there. And let the discussion be choked by means of inquiry, and this is the noose which they have thrown round their own necks. For let them [P. 131.] be asked concerning that Space, whether half of it is dark and half of it luminous, and whether half of it is good and half of it is evil, and whether its sides which are towards the Good are like the Good, and its gulfs which are towards the Bitter are like the Darkness. If they say that the half of it towards the Good is Good, and the half of it towards the Evil is Evil, this is difficult to accept; for since that Space which confines both of them is one, how is half of it good, and half of it evil? For they cannot make two (separate) Spaces, and suppose a third Space between Space and Space. Concerning the property of this third Space there is a third inquiry as to what it is, and whose it is, and whom it resembles. For of necessity, that Space which confines is one, and many differences and boundaries are found in the midst of it. For boundaries do not bound and limit Space as if it came to an end, but they bound things in the midst of Space, that is to say. either houses or cities or lands or mountains or plains or kingdoms or peoples who are bounded one with another by the sea or [P. 132.] dry land.

But if they say that that Space is altogether the same (i.e., homogeneous), though (?) it is stretched over the Good and over the Evil, it is clear that either it belongs to both of them or that both of them belong to it. For by the one yoke which fell upon the two Entities they have become subject to those two, (namely), the great yoke which ruled over them (?) And, therefore, even the distinct are not distinct. For the equal yoke cast upon them does not allow them to escape from being themselves conformed to its equality, except in this respect, (namely), |xcvi that a person who is in the midst of Space cannot occupy the whole of that Space.

And if it be not so, fashion in thy mind that whoever is in the midst of that Space, and has a body must necessarily be limited also. For the place which limits him is greater than he is. But anything which is not in Space cannot be limited; there is no Space to limit it.

Bardaisan's Hymns to Space are impious.

And on this account that pre-eminence which the Teachings give to Space, the true Teaching gives to God, because He is His own Space. For greater are the praises which Bardaisan uttered concerning Space than those which he uttered concerning the God in the midst of Space, which (praises) are not suitable [P. 133, l.10.] for Space, but for God. For if they are suitable for Space their Space is found to be more excellent than their God. But the true word (i.e., piety) demands praises as it demands acts of worship, and presents them to the one great and adorable (Being). For as it is not right to worship idols that there may not be many gods with the One, so it is not right to bestow the title of 'Existence' on Space along with God. And as it is not right to postulate another power which is able to command God, so it is not right to postulate a Space which is able to limit God. For if He is made subservient in one respect, this is a great blasphemy. For, as He does not command all if He is commanded, so He does not limit all if He is limited. For if the (title of) Commander is necessary to His lordship, the (title of) Space is also necessary. [P. 134.] For if all commanders are under His command, as they say, all places too are included within His greatness, as we say, that is, as the Truth requires.

Mani makes God depend upon a Luminous Earth.

But he went on to say that that God has also a Luminous Earth, and that He dwells upon it. And as he made Him depend upon Space, so he made Him depend upon an Earth. For he did not say that that Earth was a thing made and arranged for the sake of His possessions : as the true Prophet [Is. xlv.18.] said concerning the true God : 'not in vain did he create it, but that His Creation might dwell in it.' And as He made the Earth for the lower beings He made Heavens for the higher beings, and those things and these (exist) for the sake of beings |xcvii made and created, spiritual and corporeal. For He before His creation was not dependent upon a Heaven on which to dwell, nor upon a Space (or Domain) within which to be.

God and Space in the Heresies. Answers to the opinion of Marcion, of Mani, and of Bardaisan.

But as for Mani and Marcion, the one before, the other after, with Bardaisan in the middle, one inquiry is directed against the three of them. But let Marcion be asked first as (being) the first—if those Heavens actually exist for the Stranger it is clear that he is not one Entity, but two unlike one another. And if a Space surrounds him, then again there are three Entities, and the Space is not like the Heavens, nor do they both resemble God. God is found to be weak and inferior to the two of them. [P. 135, l.14.] For it is found that a Space surrounds him as being an inferior, and that the Heavens bear him up as being weak, not to mention other things which we shall not give at length, which indeed refute Mani also. For he names a Space and an Earth along with God as an actual existence. But Bardaisan (who was) in the middle and (was) clever, chose one and rejected the other; and this (he did) in order that he might thereby refute his neighbour, and he did not know that that of which he was ashamed is the companion of that which he affirmed. For he said concerning God that He is in the midst of Space, but he does not [attribute actual existence to the Heavens as Marcion did [L. 41.] nor to a Luminous Earth as Mani]. . . . [Yet in his Teaching like them he limited God. For he made Space] support God [L. 48.] and he did not know that there is something outside God which [P. 136.] surrounds him; (and that) there is something beneath God which bears him up. . . . a self existent Space like God. For [L. 11.] both of them exist also, so that either the latter was dissolved like the former, or the former was established like the latter.

Again, how can Mani speak of his Five Elements as coming from One Root?

But, again, Mani goes on to make many things, five Natures which he calls ZIWANE (the Bright Ones). And how, if he assumes two Roots, can there be many (beings) confined in the midst of each of them? For how from [one source can such diverse objects come as Light and Water. Wind and Fire?] . . . These show concerning their nature as also Water and Light show that their Root is not a single one. The fashioner of this Teaching [L. 39.] was foolish even if he was clever. For he says (there are) two |xcviii [P. 137.] Roots that we (?) may not say to him as Bardaisan said, (namely, that there are) five Roots (one) above (the other). . . .

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[L. 18.] divide one Nature into many Natures those which are composite. . . . And this is the refutation of those two [that Water and Fire and the other Bright Natures would injure one another [L. 23.] if they existed together as neighbours] . . . without the contact of the Darkness which he represents as the opposite of the Entities, those Entities are found to be injurers of one another if they are really in existence. For thus their Existence demands, and so experience proves. But if they were created [P. 138.] from nothing, the Will of the Maker is able to make them be at peace with one another, and to part 1 them (in anger) one from another, when they were injuring, and being injured.

How could the Entities be in contact with one another if the Space was infinite?

And, therefore, let us inquire briefly concerning these two Roots, leaving on one side many questionings in their statements, (let us ask) whether they (i.e., the Entities) were in contact with one another, or far from one another, or whether one was below or above the other. And if he says that one was opposite to the other, then Marcion and Bardaisan are more subtle than he. For Bardaisan supposes that the Darkness was beneath, below everything; and Marcion represents the Stranger as being above everything. Therefore (it may be said), that if that Space in which they all dwell is one, and the length of that Space is immeasurable, and its breadth infinite, what (is meant by saying) that all those Entities were dwelling in the same neighbourhood, and one above the other or one behind the other? Was there not a chance that they would be scattered and be far from one another in that Space which is infinite?

Why the False Teachers have affinities with one another.

So this proves concerning their Teaching that it is the elaborate arrangement of men. For the cause of this nearness of their Gods who are near to one another is evidently this, (namely), that it is because the false (Teachers) are near to one another; on this account they bring their Gods together. And because they are imprisoned in the midst of one hollow of |xcix Creation, therefore they have imprisoned their Gods within one Space. And because they are not able to go outside of [P. 139, l.19.] this world, lest the argument should be brought against them 'Whence did you perceive their Gods'? they have managed to construct causes which result in their Gods being in the midst of this world so that the effect might be that from these Gods they received the revealed Teaching concerning their secrets. And as children who play on a wide staircase, when one sits on the lowest step his companion, in order to anger him, sits on the middle step, and in order to resist both another sits on the upper step, even such are the heralds of Error. To [P. 140.] resist each other they have named Places some of which are more compressed (i.e., lower) than others, and Gods who are higher than their companions. In the sport of children the (same) story (?) is found. For children who are older than one another have ranks one above another. But they (the Teachers) have named empty Domains and idle Gods who do not exist, and futile stories which have no root.

In Mani's teaching his two Roots are placed 'opposite one another on a level.'

And because Mani saw that before him his two elder brethren, namely Marcion and Bardaisan, that one had said, 'below'2 and the other 'above'—because he saw that if he said 'below,' that had been said; and if he said 'above,' he saw that it was not new (lit., ancient), not knowing how he should represent the two Entities which he introduced, when he saw that (the arrangement of them) above and below was taken, he represented them as being one opposite the other on a level.

The False Teaching about HULE.

For he, too, prophesied by the spirit of his brethren, and [the afore-mentioned . . .] HULE 3 (i.e., Matter) is found in all of them, for it is only in the Church that it is not found. And if HULE belongs to the evil Existence as they affirm [and because the Church does not preach HULE in the Church, HULE is not in the Church, because it is not in the Scriptures of the Church], among all of them it (i.e., HULE) is altogether because it is all [P. 141, l.6.] found in their Scriptures. |c 

Why did Marcion introduce HULE into his Teaching?

And if Mani and Bardaisan have called the Maker God, perhaps a way might have come to them to call HULE also (God). For it is the cause of the Making as they say. As for Marcion who compelled him to rend again his tunic and dance with the wanton. . . .? For if he says concerning the Stranger that he is not the Maker this would be sufficient to put him in error. For he said that the Good One came—he who did not make (things)—and gave life to the Sons of the Maker; and because he had no property in the realm of the Creator it would not be necessary for him to undertake the cause of HULE. And if in order to show that the Maker tricked HULE the Stranger Himself did not keep faith with him when he came, and transferred by fasting and prayer the bodies which were from HULE, and after he worked all this work in them he sent them by death to the realm of HULE, he removed them without [P. 142.] compensating the Maker in that he raised the bodies of Enoch and Elijah to Heaven, and promised resurrection in his Scriptures [Dan. xii.13.] as He said to Daniel, 'Go, rest till the end, and thou shalt stand in thy time at the end of the days.' And who forced Marcion to introduce the subject of HULE except HULE herself, For she who is preached could not fail to make a revelation concerning her name by the mouth of her Preachers.

The subject of HULE being common to the Teaching of the three, the refutation of one is the refutation of all.

And, therefore, this HULE which is found in them all is a sign set upon all of them, so that by one sign set upon all of them they may be known to be all one. But wild asses are weak against a strong lion. When they see him they verily gather against him as one who is strong, and victorious, but he rends one and as for the many who have gathered, he scatters all of them by means of one. The Truth also in its splendour when it conquers one of the false (Teachers), by means of that one who fails, defeats all those who have gathered together. For all who are in Error are limbs one of another. But when a [P. 143.] body is caught by one of its limbs, the limbs also which are not caught are caught by the one which is caught. For it is [S. John x. 8.] written concerning those former deceivers, " All those who have come are thieves and robbers." But blessed is he who is able to bear insult (lit., that which stirs indignation), and blessed is he again whom their insult does not reach at all, so as to perturb him. |ci 

What madness to suppose that Good is refined and goes up!

But what insult is greater than this of the Heretics who say that the Good is "refined little by little and goes up"? O the unspeakable madness! For it would be right that some other Good should be added to the first in order that the Evil Constituent might be weaker so that it might not prevail over it and drown the world. But they are like fruits whose exterior, when they are dry, deceives those who see them. But when they are squeezed between two hard things, then the dryness within them is convincingly revealed. These (men) also are set between two true words so that all their long fabrication is dissolved briefly.[P. 144.]

How the evil Constituent could be conquered.

For if the Evil which is mixed in us, as they say, injures Us, then one of these two things can be, either that that Evil can be separated from us that it may not hurt us, or the Good Constituent may increase in us so that the Evil which is in us may be weakened so that it may not kill us. But I had wished to repeat this statement, (?) not that when it is repeated this statement gains power, but that when it is repeated the Hearer gains power . . . because those Hearers whose [L. 28.] faithfulness has opened their ears even from one . . . receive it. But such Hearers . . .

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If the Good "goes up," how can the Evil be conquered here?

If, therefore, . . . is mixed in the Evil Element, the Souls [P. 145, l.12.] are existing in an evil condition, how can they exist in a good condition when the force of Evil increases in them? For in proportion as the Good (Element) 'is refined and goes up,' so the Evil (Element) becomes fierce, and goes down. And just as that Good which has been 'refined,' and has 'gone up' is . . . and victorious (?) and reigns, so that other Good which is left behind is [defeated] and stifled. For the victory which is gained by those Souls who have been 'refined,' and have 'gone up' has (only) increased the defeat of those Souls who are left behind. For in proportion as all (?) the Parts of the Light have been mixed as one . . . in Evil they would lessen the Evil by their quantity so that it might not stifle them. Therefore, just as |cii those Souls which are 'refined and go up,' are victorious and exultant (?) so those Souls which are left behind are defeated [P. 146.] and stifled; but not even now are the Souls able to be refined, and to go up because the Foulness of Evil lies heavily upon them.

No Power akin to the Souls could deliver them without being overwhelmed.

Because that other Power (of Good) comes and is not confused, it is clear that it is not of the same nature as these Souls which are stifled. And instead of these Souls coming who struggled with the Evil, why at the first did not that Power come whose nature cannot be overwhelmed by 'the Floods of Evil'? But if that Power is found to be of the same nature as those Souls that are overwhelmed, it is evident without dispute that by means of that Foulness which 'intoxicated' them he who comes is perturbed.

If the Body is essentially Evil, Truth cannot come from Teachers clothed with such a Body?

And, therefore, accordingly to this infallible refutation and undeniable evidence and unanswerable demonstration and experience which neither errs nor causes to err, Marcion, too, and Mani and Bardaisan, because they were clothed with the Body which they represent as from the Element of Evil, were unable to be good in it, because, as they say, it is from the Evil One, nor (could they be) upright, because it is vicious; nor (could they be) true, because it lies; nor (could they be) pure, [P. 147, l.9.] because it is turbid. And let them not be angry because these things have been spoken against them by us. For their mouth overthrows them, not our tongue; and their Teaching, not our Will; and their Error, not our free Choice. For they said that the Body comes from the Element of Evil and lies; and it is clear that because their Souls were playing on this hateful harp, the 'intoxicating Foulness of the Body' did not allow the melody of Truth to be played on its strings. And, therefore, they have decided against themselves that they are preachers of Error, owing to the fact that they are mixed in the Body which comes from Error according to their decision. For it (i.e., the Body) speaks against them.

The orthodox teaching about the Body : it is the instrument and partner of the Soul.

But if, as we say, the Soul is able by means of the senses |ciii of the Body to hear the Truth, and to speak what is right,—for to us, who are Sons of the Church, the function of teaching properly belongs, inasmuch as we confess, according to the Preaching of the Prophets and Apostles, that the Body is akin to all the beauties of the Soul, and is a partner with it in all good things, since it is able to learn by means of it, and teach by means of it,—it (i.e., the Body) is, as it were, a trumpet for it; for by its (i.e., the Body's) mouth, it (i.e., the Soul) preaches Truth in the World, and it is a pure harp for it, by means of which it sounds forth Truth in creation. For along with it (i.e., the Body) the [P. 148, l.15.] Soul is adorned just as along with it the Soul is defiled. For they are alike in the matter of gain and loss, in every respect like friends they suit one another. For (they come) to the struggle like companions and to the (victor's) crown as partners, even if it is thought that it (i.e., the Soul) contends in it (i.e., the Body) against it. But it does not escape the notice of a wise (Hearer) that the triumph is on behalf of both. For when the Body is chaste and the Soul chaste it is a common gain, just as also when the Soul is impure and the Body impure it is a common loss. And nature shows about this that when they are foul they are both called by one Evil name, and when they are fair they are both called by one good name. And if both . . . that they both teach . . . For it is the speech [P. 149, ll.1, 4, 8.] of it all. And when it (i.e., the Soul) is . . . it (i.e., the Body) is. . . . For . . . which are from them and in them and other [Ll. 11, 14.] things which are not from them are not spoken convincingly (?) against them. . . . Obedience . . . by persuasion . . . in him [Ll. 18, 20.] who is not persuaded. For by the visible limbs of the Body the invisible movements of the Mind (are known. . . .)

The Shadow depends on the Body, but Body and Soul are more vitally one.

For just as the Body is beside (?) its real (?) Shadow so also the Soul is beside the Body. For the Shade (?) of the Body has no power apart from its Body, upon its movement (it is dependent), nor has the Body any power apart from the Soul, upon its guidance in everything . . .

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[P. 150, l.12.] And, perhaps, because of . . . which is between the Body and the Soul there is this . . . . Shadow so that by the visible Shade the invisible strife may be scattered. For if the Shade |civ [shows itself the servant of the Body] . . . the Body, too, proclaims who can influence it according to its power. For they teach by means of one another that in teaching . . . But the symbols (?) . . . which thou hast heard are not in the case of everything. For behold the real Body. . . .

[L. 37.] Why is the Shadow loved just as also the Body is loved? No, and why not?—because the Shadow is not able to hear and see like the Body. But the Body lives with the Soul. . . . [P. 151.] For . . . spring up and are seen by means of it. For the Shadow cannot see or hear, either with the Body or apart from it. But the Body sees without its Shadow, without it it (i.e., the Body) hears and speaks; it does not exist with it and by means of it; it does not hang in it when it is weary. But the Soul and the Body exist one in the other, and one of them cannot exist apart from its companion.

See, further, the intimacy of Soul and Body. This acuteness of the Physician's touch. Elijah's Body, taken to Heaven.

But let us introduce subjects into the midst of other subjects in order that they all may tend to edification. Let us ask the Heretics who lay hold of the Soul and leave the Body, though the Soul in its love and conduct has not forsaken the Body. But the Body exists between the two of them—between the Soul and the Shadow—one invisible within, the other outside it—they are both bound in this middle vessel. The Shadow is the contemptible object, but the Soul is the glorious object. But if the Body is something dependent, it is not dependent on the Shadow that it should borrow anything from the Shades. For it uses its own limbs as real objects. But the Soul which is great and perfect, how is it altogether dependent [P. 152.] on the Body? For it can do nothing without it. For hearing enters into it by the ears, smell comes to it by the body's inhalation, it (i.e., the Soul) sees forms through the Body's eyes, it tries tastes with the Body's mouth, with the Body's heart it discerns knowledge, and with the whole of it all manner of things. By the touch of its fingers it obtains a great and subtle perception, it touches with the finger the veins, and learns things that are invisible. It describes everything that |cv is in a diseased Body as if it (i.e., the Soul) had entered into it. It describes to the sick man invisible things that are concealed in him. From it he learns (the truth) concerning his ailment which he has, [the sick one does not cease to understand, the finger becomes as it were the speaking mouth;] when it calls, no one [L. 28.] hears, for it calls quite silently; it speaks with him, while those who are near at hand hear it not. It describes to him his suffering and recounts to him his trouble. And there is a passage where he said deceitfully, Likewise when the end comes, the Soul learns all these perceptions by means of the Body; and just as these things which are here are learnt by means of it, so likewise these things which are to come are acquired in conjunction with it. And if these things which are to come are more subtle than the Body in accordance with the places [P. 153.] (in which they are), so it (i.e., the Body) will undergo change. For that Will which made it gross for the gross purpose which is here present, made for it that Spiritual abode which is yonder. When Elijah was on the Earth he lived as an earthly one, and he was taken up to the Spiritual (abode) . . . from the earthly (sphere) . . . above the Heavens. For during forty days he disciplined his body by the rigour of fasting . . . [L. 18.] he did not hunger nor did he thirst when he was running . . . [L. 21.] in the Body after him . . . [L. 25.]

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[who . . . true from the Scriptures for he receives the truth by [L. 37.] Experience, and whoever is true, from the . . . Scriptures declares the truth]. For the Mind was sufficient for the Soul apart from the Body; the Mind does not find the Body apart from the Soul; the Soul was not sufficient for it; it acquired [P. 154.] Understanding on account of the Body, nor does the Body bring it to an end since by means of its Soul it (i.e., the Body) acquired Animal-Life, by means of one another they acquire for one another, and they are a mirror of one another. And just as they both perceived each other by the Mixing of both of them together, so also by means of death they both forget each other. 

Why did the Soul put on the Body?

If the Soul has Thought without the Body, has it need also? And if motion and action exist, it is likewise not in need of the Body. And if it is not in need (of it), how was it compelled |cvi to clothe itself with the Body? And if it clothed itself (with the Body) because it was compelled, it (i.e., the Soul) awaits it (i.e., the Body) in the Resurrection so that in both worlds it (i.e., the Body) may be to it (i.e., the Soul) a brother and a servant and a companion.

But if it has a Soul of its Nature (?) why is it dependent upon an alien (Body)? And if it pleased the Animal-Life to put on the Coat of Skin, over whom is its skin (laid), since its skin is related to skin? How pleasing it was to the subtle Nature of the Soul to put on the gross Coat of the vile Body! But it was vile according to their account. But it was [P. 155.] not vile because the Soul praises him who clothed it with the rational covering of intelligent Senses in order that one might regulate the other by Knowledge.

And what can give it that alien Sense which is mixed in it, seeing that, as they say, it is an alien nature? And if it is alien it is opposed to it. But, if he had given it blindness (?) and not sight he would then be depriving it of sight.

The Body ignores the Shadow: why is the Soul so intimate with the ' vile ' Body?

For the Body has a Shadow; as a despised thing it . . . it, it does not call it (i.e.. the Shadow) into its good things nor bring it into its evil things. But what has happened to the Soul [that it made the Body its companion, and makes it such an intimate . . .?]


And even the dream which it (i.e., the Soul) sees apart from [L. 33.] it (i.e., the Body) when it (i.e., the Body) is asleep, when it awakens and . . . [the Soul requires the Body to tell of the dream it has seen; the dream really comes from both of them], [L. 43.] The dream, therefore, which it sees apart from the Body the Soul does not (really) see apart from it; by it (i.e., the Body) and with it and in the midst of it and in . . . [the Soul has its dream] [P. 156, l. 6.] . . . [they depend upon each other, in slumber and in sleep they are not separated from one another] since they [L. 12.] are mingled with each other. But in death . . . they are separated, and . . . from one another—as they were mixed together [in hope . . . on their Resurrection—since they have their Resurrection as a dream so that just as after their sleep Recollection (?) comes to both, so after death. . . .] |cvii 

(And when) the Body has slumbered the Soul forgets that it is in its . . . when . . . it sees [gold], and yet it is not [L. 28.] gold, it sees silver, and yet it is not silver, it does not know itself where it goes astray . . . with its (i.e., the Body's) senses, [L. 34.] and it becomes like the pure (ideal form) (?) which he left behind . . .

[And above (in the other world) if its companion left it when rational and went to sleep, it lost all its memory,—when it entered the Body and was clothed with the senses, then it gained perception, and it sees even in a dream because it has the Body; but it loses its senses in death. Nor does that thing left behind (SHARKANA) [P. 157 l.2.] come to it. For if sleep deprived the SHARKANA of all its memory, would not death . . . as it is simple too. How did the Soul enter the Body and put on its grossness . . . For it is correctly clear that the Body does not help the Soul's going up, [Ll. 27, 28.] which he ascribes to it, nor does it receive from it its going up, which he proclaims . . . What then can be the cause of the Soul's coming down from the House of Light, so that it is born into the gross body?]

But as for the Soul . . . of its house perturbs it, as they [L. 33.] say, and all its search (?) belongs to blasphemy, and all its fullness belongs to deficiency, for "the pure Soul came into the turbid Body, so that though it was a thing which was not deficient it gained through it (i.e., the Body) very great deficiency." [P. 158.]

Difficulties in the Teaching about the Soul's pre-existence and its entrance into the Body.

For if the Soul came from a Place, as they say, who know not what they say, how and why is it not able to return to its natural Place? For if it was sent forth when a child4 it was here that it received Understanding, and that Place which was deprived of Intelligence was abandoned (?) by it. And if when it was possessed of Knowledge it was conducted (on its way) how did it leave Understanding behind? And if the Body perturbed it and (so) it forgot, as long as it is (associated) with the Body it is forgetful.

And if it is forgetful how do the false (Teachers) teach it to |cviii remember anything that it has forgotten? It actually lost its Knowledge and a borrowed Voice teaches it (again), it lost all its Understanding, and a Buzzing (sound) in the ear makes it remember! And how does the Body not perturb that Voice which teaches it, seeing that it stands between two Bodies, (namely), between the speaker and the hearer; for it goes out of the mouth of the Body and enters the ear of the Body. And if the feeble voice of the teaching is not drowned in (passing [P. 159.] through) the innumerable ears of the Hearers, that is to say, is not confused so as to proclaim Error instead of Truth.— for, as they suppose, they proclaim Truth to their Hearers,—how much more, therefore, would the Soul which is stronger than words be able to purify the Body in which it dwells, if it (dwells) in it without uncleanness! For, moreover, one Soul has no need of another Soul to learn or to teach. For as wild beasts are not dependent on one another because that animal-life is part of their nature, so one (Soul) is not dependent upon another in (the matter of) Knowledge, because their essential Knowledge is the same, if, as they say, the Essence of all the Souls is one. But if their Knowledge is not one their Essence is not one.

All teachers being clothed with Bodies their teaching must have the nature of the Body's Root.

But in all refutations the same Truth conquers, and is crowned, in that if the Soul is conquered by the Body, much more would teaching fail (given) through the ear. And if teaching does not fail, much more does the Soul not fail. 0 let not, therefore, the heretics teach, for teaching is futile. (?) For if the teacher does not err, how does the teaching err, seeing that they are both clothed with Bodies? And if teacher and teaching are from one Root and both are covered with the [P. 160, l. 5.] flesh, how is one bitter and another pleasant, (how does) one go astray, and another teach, one wander and another guide? And if their Root is pleasant and (yet) their perturbation is bitter, either they are bitter like the Body or pleasant like the good (Root), or they are all [bitter, and one of them is not sweet] [L. 21.] . . . or one of them does not remember. For how does he escape who escapes, and what is the cause that he (finds release) if they are all from one family, and from an Entity. . . .?

How can diverse Souls come from a single Root?

[L. 29.] And how is it a single Existence when there is from it one |cix good and another (evil). If there is Recollection in all the Root, then there is [no] Error in all the Essence. And as for the Sons of this Essence how does one fail and another conquer?—their Essence is not the same. For how does he err who errs, and his companion who is with him not err if his nature is akin (to the nature of the other)? If they are from [the same] nature, in the contest they are companions. And if on account of this Body with which he is clothed, he goes [P. 101, l.21.] astray and . . . then how does his teacher who is clothed with the Body [not] go astray like him? And if the teacher . . . [in spite of the body] is able to teach . . . he shows concerning his Soul that he exists from its power. . . . For he knows that if he taught like his companion, he would be abased. And how does he teach us. . . . that Evil is not the same since [L. 20.] from it comes one who is fierce also . . . in its part which is fierce (and) in the part which . . . it conquers.

The pre-existent Soul and its Place.

How do the false (Teachers) teach Abodes and Places? And the Places are fashioned in their (?) minds, and are not seen (?). If the Soul has come from a Place, how did it forget its Place? But if the Body perturbed it, and it forgot its permanent Place in which it dwelt, how . . . And the Body [L. 39.] does not perturb the images (?) of the mind. . . .

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The Teaching about a continuous Going up of Souls leaves those remaining behind to be overwhelmed by Evil.

But if a quantity of wine intoxicates and leads astray, [P. 102, l.18.] how (much more) will a quantity of Error intoxicate and lead astray! But if, as they say, the number of Souls constantly becomes less from day to day because they are 'refined and go up,' how are those Souls that are left behind able to conquer seeing that they are left [in the midst of a quantity of Evil which they are not able to conquer?] Why [do they not all join forces against the Evil?] Is it not clear to the blind, that when a king goes to fight a fierce battle with a numerous force . . . [he unites his force with] other forces. . . .? [Though] therefore kings wisely add . . . to their forces, in this battle which, as they say, is fiercer than these battles of ours, [P. 163, l.7.] see how the number of the Souls grows foolishly less!

The right method for separating Good and Evil.

But consider how foolish is the wisdom of the Teaching, nor do they know how to hide their falsehood. But how is |cx Falsehood able to hide from the face of Truth? For instead of that which they assert, (namely), "lo, the Good is refined, and goes up," it would be right that the Evil should consume away and be removed little by little and cast into another place. For in this way there would have been advantage to both sides. For that Evil which was removed hence (?) would not be able to conquer on account of its defeat, and that Evil which was left behind could have been easily conquered on account of its smallness. For in proportion as the Particles of the Evil were plucked up from day to day and removed, so the Particles of the Good would have been strengthened from hour to hour, and would have conquered.

Instead of a Separation by a bad plan, the Evil Constituent could have been lessened by increasing the Good Constituent.

But instead of these two desirable things which I have just mentioned, lo, on the contrary two hateful things are done. For the Good Particles which have been refined are tormented and then they escape, and the Parts which remain, see, they are tormented and are unable to escape. For their smallness is swallowed up in the abundance of the Evil. As for those, therefore, who say that Evil and Good are mixed together, and that these Constituents conquer, and are conquered, it is not right for them to weaken the Evil by Laws and Commandments. [P. 164, l. 21.] For in this way the Evil is not weakened. But they should make for themselves measures and weights, and wherever they see that the evil Constituent is great in a man, let them rather pour into him two measures of Good in order that the Constituent may outweigh the other. For thus experience in mixings teaches. For cold things are mixed in hot things in order that the heat may be mixed (?) and that they may not be . . . [And when the heat has been [L. 37.] lessened it cannot] turn [again to its fierceness]. . . .

How the Good is overwhelmed.

[It must be] therefore, that, as they say that the Souls are 'refined and go up' (so also) the Evil . . . [gains power] because the numerous Parts of the Good are 'refined and go [P. 165, l. 20.] up.' . . . to those Parts which are left behind . . . How are they able to conquer? For behold the Foulness of all these their companions which have been refined has been added to them. [P. 32.] And what mouth ventures to say that these Souls [can escape from the Evil]. . . . But what mouth ventures to say that these |cxi Souls. . . . And what mouth ventures to say and to fabricate the Teaching. . . .

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Concerning the relative strength of Good and Evil when mixed.

So that it was swallowed up in "the bitter Sea." But [P. 166, 19.] easily does the Falsehood lie which the Truth easily exposes. But if the false (Teachers) prepare again for themselves other escapes, again other bonds are prepared for them. For even if that Darkness is great in that it covers all places yet the Light is greater than it, in that it drives it from every place. But that thou mayest know that when a great quantity of the Good is mixed with Evil, then the Evil is able to conquer, let us ask them again, why of all these Particles that are mixed at present with the Evil, one drop only was not mixed with the Evil from the beginning? [P. 167.]

If they say that even one Part of all these Parts which are mixed at present would be able to conquer the Evil, how is the majority of the Parts conquered by the Evil? But if they say that the sole purpose for which the Good was mingled (with the Evil) is that it (i.e., the Good) may overcome the great quantity of the Evil, they confess, though they do not wish to do so, that when that good Constituent preponderates in its quantity then the fierceness of the Evil is conquered. Easily, therefore, does every Teaching fail which says that the Good is refined and goes up from the Evil. For addition would be necessary, and the Good would be added in order that by the quantity of the Good the fierceness of the Evil might be lessened.

If all Souls are from one source how do they manifest such diverse tendencies? Is their Source divided against itself?

But let Error be scourged by the inquiries of Truth in order that its disciples also may be confounded when they are convicted (and made to see) how greatly they err. For if, as they say, all the Souls are from one Nature, and their Nature is pure and beautiful, how can there be found in them two tendencies which are divided against one another? For there are among the Souls some who err and some who do not err; some who sin, and some who are pronounced righteous; [P. 168.] some who love the Good, and some who hate it. Let them tell us, therefore, what is the cause of this division that the Souls are thus divided against one another so that they are |cxii quite unlike, nor do they agree with the source from which they came. If their Essence is not like its Nature it is found that their source is divided against itself. And lo, in virtue of what it is, a great Evil dwells in it, and the perturbation in it cannot be purged away because it is an Essence of which, in virtue of what it is, the Foulness cannot be refined. Why then, O Mani, did not the Souls come from this Good Part to wage war with the Darkness, since before the war they had had a great war in their own Domain, inasmuch as their Essence was divided against itself?

The Souls, moreover, do not continue in Goodness.

And even of these pure Souls (it must be said that) their nature is not pure continually. But it happens even to these that they sometimes . . . [are pure and] sometimes they sin. And it is found that even in the case of this source the tendency of its nature does not always abide in it, inasmuch as its fruits are bitter and sweet.


Can Freewill change its Essence.

And if they say that the Souls have Freewill, then how is their Freewill found to blaspheme against their Essence? And how also is their Will capable of being divided against their Root? [P. 169, l. 11.] And how is one Entity able to be the opposite of itself? . . . [L. 17.] And see that when half of it has a contest with its (other) [L. 26.] half . . . for its divided Will . . . with its Essence, nor is all of [L. 39.] it tasted . . . . How much more does it give evidence that in the divided fruit which comes from it, its self-contradictory character is indicated! For if that Root is homogeneous, and its Parts homogeneous, how does the Freewill which comes from it bring reproach by its fruits upon the [Father] of Souls?

The Good Will could not be affected by Satan.

[P. 170, l. 5.] And if they say that the Souls have this Freewill, and this Freewill is from the Pure One, and by the craft of Satan, this Freewill goes astray . . . and how was their wise Will taught . . . their former Freewill perished, and [they obtained] another [L. 37.] Freewill instead of the Freewill, and a Will. . . . (How is it possible) to persuade this Will which is not capable of being persuaded? But if the separation of (these) things occurred through force, and the Evil returned to its Root, and its Will also returned with it, and the Good also went to its Nature and its |cxiii Freewill was drawn away with it, while this cleansing is [P. 171.] thought to be a good thing, it is afterwards brought to nought. For there is no true foundation among the false (Teachers), and on this account the thing which is built up with trouble afterwards collapses without trouble. For, lo, it is the [opinion] of the false. (Teachers) that through their Will they always and for ever forget. (?) And how does the good Will which is mixed in them not remind them? And it was not enough that it did not remind them at all, but the reminder itself forgot along with them. And, again, how are there others who did not forget, and the Will of Error was not able to make them forget? And if these who forgot forgot because of the Body with which they were clothed, lo, these also who did not forget were clothed with the flesh.

Why did the Soul not resist Satan? Samson resisted his enemies. But the Soul is not only subdued but actually reviles its Father.

And that thou mayest know that the Will of the Soul is always hateful, seeing that Freewill exists by virtue of its own nature, though it be not good; for Satan did not at all 'intoxicate' the Souls by means of the Foulness of his force in order that the Soul might not know when it does Evil that these things are evil. Even if it had been so it is (worthy [P. 172.] of) great blame, that, just as a thing which comes from the Pure One has a nature which may err and cause to err, and Satan mocks it as one mocks a drunkard,—and surely it was he who intoxicated the Soul and mocked it,—the Soul did not intoxicate him by its breath so that it might mock him. And as for those who as enemies were mocking at Samson (saying), Was he a Nazarite of God, seeing that all uncleanness mocked him, (was he) a strong man, seeing that a woman brought him low, and mocked at the hair of his head? the mockers of Samson were mocked; for a just inquiry mocks them, when it demands, and seeks to know how this Soul which proceeds from the Good, and this holy being which proceeds from the Pure, and this wise being which proceeds from the Knowing, and this chaste being which proceeds from the Venerable, how did the Evil One intoxicate it (i.e., the Soul), by means of his Foulness, and all this (Evil) mock it, and put |cxiv to shame its chastity and render contemptible its venerability and cause its wisdom to err, and defile its purity? And what is more than all else (is the fact) that he made a disciple of it and taught it to insult God, whom they call the Father of Souls; and Samson was so far from [P. 173.] blasphemy that he actually prayed to God. But the pure Soul though it comes from God (reviles) as they say . . . [L. 8.] and it is found . . . when it blesses God and curses its Root and reviles God its Father. . . .

[Ll. 17, 19] And what force (constrained them) . . . (they) rebel against him and become his enemies. Neither have all those Souls come thence to whom this has happened here, for they proceeded from their Father in order that they might not come (hither) and go astray from him and blaspheme against him. And if from the time when they came hither they went astray here, perhaps there would be an excuse before they came, because anything which is from the place of God. . . .

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[P. 174, l. 29.] So that he restrained from blasphemy those who remained beside him, and gives victory to those who are sent from him. And he (i.e., the Good Being) would have shown his foreknowledge as one who knows all.

Concerning the Soul's foreknowledge of its rebellion and what it would indicate.

But if those Souls who came and rebelled, came also thence, they would know before they came that when they " came they would rebel against him. And they did not only rebel from the time when they came here, but also when they were there beside him they are found to have been rebellious against him, inasmuch as they possessed a rebellious knowledge. For one of two things is necessary, either that they [P. 175, l. 8.] knew or that they did not know. If they knew, then they would be disloyal to him, and if they did not know then on the other hand, they would have been in Error there before they came (hither), and there was always room for disloyalty and error in him; and he could not be at rest from strife even when the Enemy outside of him did not molest him. For if his enemies injure him because they are disloyal to him, then it is a division inside of him which is able to |cxv contend with him. And if he was not disloyal to himself, how are the Souls which come from him disloyal to him?

A Refutatory Summary.

And who will [stop up] this (gushing) spring of questionings, seeing that the things which have been said are many, and those which stand are not a few? And in proportion as one contradicts this false Teaching it is found that failures are crowded in the whole of it, and, therefore, that according to their saying, their Teacher was drunk in very truth. For he fights as a drunkard who falls wherever he turns himself. [P. 176.] But for a space let us submit and accept from them the thing which the Truth cannot accept. For we will make them think that they have come to conquer in order that they may allow themselves to be justly defeated.

If the Evil One intoxicated the Souls, they must have had kinship with the intoxicating thing.

For suppose that the Evil One really intoxicated the Souls who went astray, is it not clear then that the thing which intoxicates our nature is akin to our nature, neither can our nature be greedily captivated and become intoxicated by means of anything except because it pleases it exceedingly? For excess in drinking proves to us the pleasantness of wine, for because it is very pleasant it has been drunk in great quantities, and because he mixed much drink the drinker became much perturbed in mind. For if we are given wine to drink, or strong liquor, or anything which is pleasant to us, it intoxicates us. Likewise, too, the Evil One, and Satan intoxicates the Soul by means of those things which are pleasant to the Soul, that is to say, by falsehood and by pride, and by arrogance, together with all hateful things. And how were things which are foreign to its nature acceptable to the Soul? For if drunkards are captivated by means of wine [P. 177.] which is akin to our nature, the Souls would not be captivated by something which is the opposite of their nature. And if we receive drugs which are fiercely opposed to our nature in (a time of) great necessity, since there is a benefit for our pains in them, how is the Soul pleased with the wicked pleasurable (things) by means of which it is assuredly made sick?

The Evil One did not intoxicate the Soul; for it still remembers the Commandments, though it breaks them.

And those things which intoxicate us also take away our memory, so that the drunken ones who go astray are. not blamed; for they do not know that they are assuredly going |cxvi astray. But the Evil One who makes the Soul drunk with the pleasurable (things), cannot take from it the Recollection of the Commandments and Laws. For consider those who do the Commandment when they know the Commandment, and those who rebel against the Law (and) who are acquainted with the Law; not from lack of knowledge do Souls sin, but on account [L. 30.] of the arrogance, either of their Nature, as the false Teachers say, or of their Freewill as the true ones teach. For, though they know what righteousness is, they do evil; and though [P. 178.] they know uprightness, they commit follies; and though they know the truth, they become denied; and though they are aware of purity, they are made impure; and though an evil name is hateful to them, they take pleasure in the work of the Evil One; and though they confess the Good One, they are far from Good works. How, therefore, did the Evil One make them drunk as they say, seeing that they exist in all this perception? And if they did not know then they would not be blameworthy; but it is a very bad thing that, though they know they do not do, and though they are aware they do not practise.

The Soul and the works of Darkness.

And how do the Evil (Souls), who are not wont to learn, learn to do wisely, and how are the Good (Souls), who are wise by their knowledge, found to be unskilful in practice? For the Soul is untrained in that which concerns it, and its Adversary (?) is very cunning, for even . . . he compels men, for this Soul which they call 'Light,' when it practises the deeds of shame, goes into the Darkness in order to sin. And how did it turn its face from the Light its kinsman, and in Darkness perform the deeds of Darkness?

Why did not the Luminaries bring weapons to the Souls in their struggle?

And see the Sun in their blindness they actually worship it, and the Moon—such is their madness—they greatly magnify and call it "the Ship of Light which—as they say—bears away the burden of their Refinings to the House of Life," and these Shining Ones who bear burdens, did they not bear (and) bring victorious weapons to the Souls which failed in the war . . . [who failed because they were weak, and not because] [P. 179, l. 12.] their Will did not wish to conquer? |cxvii 

The Soul not intoxicated or led captive by Satan. If the Soul is strong enough to revile Satan with words, its Freewill is strong enough to resist him.

But if they are so weak in their Nature their Nature is put to shame. And if they go astray by their knowledge they [discredit] their Root. And if . . . by their Will they are able to conquer . . . who say concerning the Soul that it became drunk, and was compelled since . . . (Satan) made it drunk by force. . . . But if the Soul is stronger than Satan seeing that when it practises Evil it verily denies Evil and [reviles] Satan. . . . Satan did not lead and carry it captive by force . . . [for [P. 179, l.26.] captives are not accustomed] to revile the king who takes them captive, and servants are afraid of their lords and disciples of their teachers. But how is the Soul not afraid to [rebuke [P. 180.] its master?], and lo, it is a bitter lodger (?) when it [stays] with him in his (?) beloved house. For the Body, as they say, is his (?) House, and . . . house of the Evil One. If the Evil One . . . [is master of his own house, how does he allow the Soul] to revile him? In the controversy of the true furnace this cannot stand. For he would not give it room (?) to [revile] him with words. . . . But if the Soul is stronger than he by its Freewill, as it is also stronger than he by its words and. . . . For it is found that it is the cause of Evil. . . .

Freewill is 'independent' and does not come from a bound Element.

But if Freewill has the character of a 'bound Nature,' . . . . [how are there in] it sentiments which are unlike one another? And it is found that there are not two Entities which contend with one another, as Mani says, because they are Wills of one Existence . . . [For how do Entities contend with one another?] . . . but that which was created from nothing. And when it is changed from one thing to another thing? For an independent Will it (i.e., Freedom) has not, because it is bound in something from which it has come. For if it was (created) from an Entity . . . the Freedom of the Soul . . . [P. 181, l.13.] [depends] upon [the Entities].

And if they are good it is good just as if they are evil it is evil. And if the Entities are good or evil it is like them. And of necessity Freewill such as this is not at all Freewill, but a shadow either of the Entities or of 'bound Natures,' so that wherever they turn it (i.e., Freewill) turns with them in like manner. But that Freewill which was created from nothing |cxviii is not bound up with that nothing, because it does not even exist. And on this account it is not turned as a 'bound Shadow,' but it is changed as an independent Freewill.

But let us refute them a little, for whose correction even [P. 182.] much refutation is too little. Because the Souls come from something, as they say, it is found that their Freewill also is bound up with something, and it is not found that they are either pleasing or hateful, but if this true Root is pleasing they are mingled with it. But if they say that while the fountain is pure its Will is perturbed on account of its free Nature, then without Evil and Satan, in virtue of what it is, Freewill is able by its own power to produce many evils. And they acknowledge the truth unwillingly that Freewill has power to change its Wishes, since its Wishes are not bound up with a good or evil Essence. For if it is bound up with a good Nature or an evil Root, its wishes have no (free) power, but they are pipes in which Bitterness and Sweetness move along from the Roots with which it is bound up.

Souls are not conditioned by the nature of the Bodies in which they dwell.

But if they say that there are Bodies which are more evil than other Bodies, and Corporeal Frames which are fouler than others,—because (some) Bodies are fiercer than others, such Souls as chance upon perturbed Bodies are more perturbed than others who happen to come into gentle Bodies. But where they think that they have conquered there are they all the more taken captive. For if because of the Evil which [P. 183,l. 6.] was great in those Bodies, on that account the Souls that are in them make themselves exceedingly hateful, that is the [Cf. p. cvii.ff] argument which we mentioned above, (namely), that the Souls cannot remember, "because the Pollution of Error is (too) great for them, unless sweet Floods have come from their Home a second time, and lessened the Bitterness in which they were dwelling," or else (it must be) that the Souls who have been 'refined, and have gone up,' descend again that they may come to rescue their companions who have been overwhelmed so that they all may rescue all and go peacefully to their Domain; so that as all came to the struggle (together) . . . (so) they might go up from the struggle (together), and not be separated from one another. |cxix 

Why then are Bodies not uniformly evil?

And lo, again [another word], how is it that since that Evil is a single Essence it does not agree with itself? For the part which is not evil like its companions is better than its companions.


Refutatory Summary and Conclusion.

For the Teaching which is fabricated by means of Error is [P. 184,l.3.] wont to be destroyed by itself. For they blaspheme against God, although He is their Maker; they blaspheme against the Body, although it is their Body; they blaspheme against marriage, although it is their Root; they blaspheme against . . . though . . . therefore . . . and who fast according to [P. 184, l. 19.] Error since (their words are) against the True One (?) who says that 'ye shall know them by their fruits' . . . [meaning thereby] [S. Matt, vii. 20.] that from their words ye shall recognize them. For their works are like our works as their fast is like our fast, but their faith is not like our Faith. And, therefore, rather than being known by the fruit of their works they are distinguished by the fruit of their words. For their work is able to lead astray and (yet) appear as fine, for its bitterness is invisible; but their words cannot lead astray, for their blasphemies are evident. And just as he who worships idols does not worship wood or [P. 185.] stone, but devils, so he who prays with the Manichaeans prays with Satan, and he who prays with the Marcionites (?) prays with Legion, and he who (prays) with the followers of Bardaisan (?) (prays) with Beelzebub, and he who (prays) with the Jews (prays) with Barabbas, the robber.


[Syriac text omitted]

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Note from Vol. 1 Introduction, p. (10):

[Short lacunae are indicated in the translation by dots, and longer gaps by asterisks, but in neither case is the number of the dots or asterisks intended to bear any exact relation to the number of the missing words. In respect to this an approximately correct inference may be drawn by consulting the Syriac text.

Double inverted commas mark quotations where the original has [Syriac]

Single inverted commas are used in numerous cases where the words seem to be quotations or to belong to a special terminology.

Words in italics inside square brackets are to be regarded as conjectural translations or paraphrases.

In a few passages, where the text has suffered great mutilation, italics indicate an attempt to summarise the argument from suggestions in the fragments.]

[P.101] indicates page 101 of the accompanying Syriac.  [l.2] means line 2 of the current page of the accompanying Syriac.  [RP]


I have moved the footnotes to the end.  Those consisting of "Read [syriac] for [syriac]" or similar have been omitted, as it has not been possible to transcribe the fragments of Syriac.  The pages are numbered with Roman numerals.  Arabic numbers and line numbers relate to the Syriac text printed at the back of the paper volume.  Greek text is rendered using the Scholars Press SPIonic font, free from here.

1. 1 Or perhaps "make them distant," see note (a), p. 138.

2. 1 I.e., Had placed the Entities one below the other.

3. 2 Cf. p. lxiii. l. 6.

4. 3 There seems to be an allusion here to the opening lines of the Hymn of the Soul; see 'Texts and Studies,' Vol. V, part 3.

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This text was transcribed by Roger Pearse, 2nd October 2002.  All material on this page is in the public domain - copy freely.
Greek text is rendered using the Scholars Press SPIonic font, free from here.

Early Church Fathers - Additional Texts