Ben C. Smith wrote: ↑
Thu Nov 19, 2020 8:07 pm
... if you want to read something by Irenaeus which has little to do with the heretics, try the Demonstration
. He mentions the heretics maybe two or three times altogether in it. (Irenaeus himself even sounds a tiny bit gnostic a couple of times in it.)
? The Demonstration of the Apostolic Preaching
Yes, it does seem a little gnostic in a couple of places.
It reads to me like a pre
-Gospel document: general theological rhetoric; quite a few appeals to major Jewish prophets throughout, with a few references to Moses, David, Isaiah, and Jerimiah; a few general statements about Christianity, including vague references to disciples of the Apostles, presbyteri apostolorum discipuli
; several appeals to the Logos
among the rhetoric; a couple of references to Paul, one reference to John the Baptist and one to the disciple John, but no references to Mark, Luke or Matthew.
Now, of course one shouldn't expect much recitation of the Canonical Gospels of other BT book in a work like this, but one might expect more and much better citation or representation of what the Gospels say Jesus is said to have said or said to have done.
There is "invocation of the name of Jesus Christ, crucified under Pontius Pilate,293
[as] a separation and division among mankind" near the end, but no other circumstances, and 293 cites, "II, xlix. 3: Ἐν τῷ ὀνόματι Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ, τοῦ πταυρωθέντος ἐπὶ Ποντίου Πειλάτον. Cf. Just. M. Ap
. ii., 6, Dial
. 30, 76, 85" - I'm not sure what 'II, xlix. 3' is reference to.
Some examples of passages therein -
... man is a living being compounded of soul and flesh .. For what profit is it to know the truth in words, and to pollute the flesh and perform the works of evil? ... Wherefore the Holy Spirit says by David: Blessed is the man who hath not walked in the counsel of the ungodly: that is, the counsel of the nations which know not God: for those are ungodly who worship not the God that truly is. And therefore the Word says to Moses: I am He that is
.. Now faith occasions this for us; even as the Elders, the disciples of the Apostles,66 have handed down to us. First of all it bids us bear in mind that we have received baptism for the remission of sins, in the name of God the Father, and in the name of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who was incarnate and died and rose again, and in the Holy Spirit of God.
And, since God is rational, therefore by (the) Word He created the things that were made; and God is Spirit, and by (the) Spirit He adorned all things: as also the prophet says: By the word of the Lord were the heavens established, and by his spirit all their power. Since then the Word establishes, that is to say, gives body and grants the reality of being, and the Spirit gives order and form to the diversity of the powers; rightly and fittingly is the Word called the Son, and the Spirit the Wisdom of God.
Well also does Paul His apostle say: One God, the Father, who is over all and through all and in its all. For over all is the Father; and through all is the Son, for through Him all things were made by the Father; and in us all is the Spirit, who cries Abba Father, and fashions man into the likeness of God.
Now the Spirit shows forth the Word, and therefore the prophets announced the Son of God; and the Word utters the Spirit, and therefore is Himself the announcer of the prophets, and leads and draws man to the Father.
This then is the order of the rule of our faith, and the foundation of the building, and the stability of our conversation: God, the Father, not made, not material, invisible; one God, the creator of all things: this is the first point of our faith. The second point is: The Word of God, Son of God, Christ Jesus our Lord, who was manifested to the prophets according to the form of their prophesying and according to the method of the dispensation of the Father: through whom all things were made; who also at the end of the times, to complete and gather up all things, was made man among
men, visible and tangible, in order to abolish death and show forth life and produce a community of union between God and man. And the third point is: The Holy Spirit, through whom the prophets prophesied, and the fathers learned the things of God, and the righteous were led forth into the way of righteousness; and who in the end of the times was poured out in a new way a upon mankind in all the earth, renewing man unto God.
And for this reason the baptism of our regeneration proceeds through these three points: God the Father bestowing on us regeneration through His Son by the Holy Spirit.
41. And His forerunner was John the Baptist, who prepared and made ready the people beforehand for the reception of the Word of life; declaring that He was the Christ, on whom the Spirit of God rested, mingling with His flesh. His disciples, the witnesses of all His good deeds, and of His teachings and His sufferings and death and resurrection, and of His ascension into heaven after His bodily161 resurrection—these were the apostles, who after (receiving) the power of the Holy Spirit were sent forth by Him into all the world, and wrought the calling of the Gentiles, showing to mankind the way of life ...
I make thine enemies thy footstool. And that He ascended thither, whence He had come down, David says: From the end of heaven is his going forth, and his cessation even at the end of heaven. Then he signifies his judgment: And there is none that shall be hid from his heat.
86. If then the prophets prophesied that the Son of God was to appear upon the earth, and prophesied also where on the earth and how and in what manner He should make known His appearance, and all these prophecies the Lord took upon Himself; our faith in Him was well-founded, and the tradition of the preaching (is) true.
And that not by the much speaking of the law, but by the brevity of faith and love, men were to be saved, Isaiah says thus: A word brief and short in righteousness: for a short word will God make in the whole world. (Cf. Isa. x. 23) And therefore the apostle Paul says: Love is the fulfilling of the law: for he who loves God has fulfilled the law.
Ben C. Smith wrote: ↑
Thu Nov 19, 2020 8:07 pm
Also, recall that we do not possess everything that Irenaeus wrote. We have lost more of his works than we have preserved.
Sure, but what is preserved do not seem to be substantial Christian documents.