cause conjoins me to the sacrificer, I shall be merely a spectator of the sacrifice.
The Apostle, perceiving the force [of this conjunction], and blaming that knowledge which, without true doctrine, is admitted to influence life,
It is therefore better and more profitable to belong to the simple and unlettered class, and by means of love to attain to nearness to God, than, by imagining ourselves learned and skilful, to be found [among those who are] blasphemous against their own God, inasmuch as they conjure up another God as the Father. And for this reason Paul exclaimed, "Knowledge puffeth up, but love edifieth: "
But the "supposition of knowledge inflates," and fills with pride; "but charity edifieth," which deals not in supposition, but in truth. Whence it is said, "If any man loves, he is known."
But the knowledge of those who think themselves wise, whether the barbarian sects or the philosophers among the Greeks, according to the apostle, "puffeth up."
And there are those who say that the knowledge about things sacrificed to idols is not promulgated among all, "lest our liberty prove a stumbling-block to the weak. For by thy knowledge he that is weak is destroyed. "
who also "thought that they knew somewhat, whereas they knew not yet anything, as they ought to know."
and, "If any thinks himself to know, he knoweth not yet how it behaves him to know I"
1 Cor. 8:2 - NIV, NAB - in Cyprian Treatise XII Three Books of Testimonies Against the Jews
And again: "If any man thinketh that he knoweth anything, he knoweth not yet in what manner he ought to know."
And those very apostles, who said "that there is one God,"
For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth; yet to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we through Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by Him."
Such, then, being the case, the Greeks ought by the Law and the Prophets to learn to worship one God only, the only Sovereign; then to be taught by the apostle, "but to us an idol is no, thing in the world,"
renounced all idols, they are utterly unsuitable. "Not that an idol is anything,"
He introduces his discussion about meats offered to idols with a statement concerning idols (themselves): "We know that an idol is nothing in the world."
" In reference to this statement, it would be profitable for us to take up and clearly explain the whole passage of the first Epistle to the Corinthians, in which Paul treats of offerings to idols.
And when this creature is taken for food, it nourishes the person who so takes it for the demon, not for God, by making him a fellow-guest with the idol, not with Christ, as rightly do the Jews also.
bear what thou art able; but against that which is sacrificed to idols
For the name of God, as being the natural designation of Deity, may be ascribed to all those beings for whom a divine nature is claimed,-as, for instance, even to idols. The apostle says: "For there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth."
that no Christian should intermarry with a heathen, he maintains a law of the Creator, who everywhere prohibits marriage with strangers. But when he says, "although there be that are called gods, whether in l heaven or in earth,"
has become a common name (since in the world there are said and believed to be "gods many"
For "although there be that are called gods" in name, "whether in heaven or in earth, yet to us there is but one God the Father, of whom are all things; "
40 God all things made; "
We know, moreover, that "though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth (as there be gods many and lords many), but to us there is one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by Him."
" To this effect Paul says, "For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, as there are gods many, and lords many."
" Those gods, then, are living of whom God is god. The Apostle, too, writing to the Corinthians, says:
For says the apostle, "There is one God, the Father, of whom are all things; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things."
as Paul admonished you. For if there is one God of the universe, the Father of Christ, "of whom are all things; "
and one Lord Jesus Christ, our [Lord], "by whom are all things; "
And again, "One Lord Jesus Christ."
But," he says, "through thy knowledge thy weak brother perishes, for whom Christ died; and they that wound the conscience of the weak brethren sin against Christ."
Marcion, however, does not say that the Creator is not God; so that the apostle can hardly be thought to have ranked the Creator amongst those who are called gods, without being so; since, even if they had been gods, "to us there is but one God, the Father."
For in this he has said only what Christ testifies of Himself. For Christ gave this testimony, and said, "All things are delivered unto me of my Father; "
1 Cor. 8:6 - NIV, NAB - in Pseudo-Gregory Thaumaturgus A Sectional Confession of Faith
establishes the oneness of the nature; and thus there is a (divinity that is the) property of the Father, according to the word, "There is one God the Father; "
1 Cor. 8:6 - NIV, NAB - in Pseudo-Gregory Thaumaturgus A Sectional Confession of Faith
For Paul addresses the Father as one in respect of divinity, and speaks of the Son as one in respect of lordship: "There is one God the Father, of whom are all things, and we for Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by Him."
We must therefore abstain from these viands not for fear (because there is no power in them); but on account of our conscience, which is holy, and out of detestation of the demons to which they are dedicated, are we to loathe them; and further, on account of the instability of those who regard many things in a way that makes them prone to fall, "whose conscience, being weak, is defiled: for meat commendeth us not to God."
; sins of deed, by the rapacious and carnivorous birds. The sow delights in dirt and dung; and we ought not to have "a conscience" that is "defiled."
"Knowledge is not in all,"
But, so sinning, by shocking the weak consciences of the brethren thoroughly, they will sin against Christ."
The natural use of food is then indifferent. "For neither if we eat are we the better," it is said, "nor if we eat not are we the worse."
For it is not in the food of the belly, that we have heard good to be situated. But he has heard that"meat will not commend us,"
(finally), that so, too, does the apostle teach that "food commendeth us not to God; since we neither abound if we eat, nor lack if we eat not."
Paul also says, "Meat commendeth us not to God: for neither, if we eat, are we the better; neither, if we eat not, are we the worse."
1 Cor. 8:8 - NIV, NAB - in Cyprian Treatise XII Three Books of Testimonies Against the Jews
Paul, in the first to the Corinthians: "Meat commendeth us not to God; neither if we eat shall we abound, nor if we eat not shall we want."
And the Apostle, however, knowing that it is not the nature of meats which is the cause of injury to him who uses them or of advantage to him who refrains from their use, but opinions and the reason which is in them, said, "But meat commendeth us not to God, for neither if we eat are we the better, nor if we eat not are we the worse."
And so neither by not eating, I mean by the very fact that we do not eat of the bread which has been sanctified by the word of God and prayer, are we deprived of any good thing, nor by eating are we the better by any good thing; for the cause of our lacking is wickedness and sins, and the cause of our abounding is righteousness and right actions; so that such is the meaning of what is said by Paul, "For neither if we eat are we the better, nor if we eat not are we the worse."
will yet frequent the Quinquatria? The very first payment of every pupil he consecrates both to the honour and to the name of Minerva; so that, even though he be not said "to eat of that which is sacrificed to idols"
part in the battle when it does not become him even to sue at law? And shall he apply the chain, and the prison, and the torture, and the punishment, who is not the avenger even of his own wrongs? Shall he, forsooth, either keep watch-service for others more than for Christ, or shall he do it on the Lord's day, when he does not even do it for Christ Himself? And shall he keep guard before the temples which he has renounced? And shall he take a meal where the apostle has forbidden him?
And again: "And through thy knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died; "
But if we were to give more careful consideration to these things, we should be on our guard against sinning against the brethren, and wounding their conscience when it is weak, lest we sin against Christ;
1 Cor. 8:12 - NIV, NAB - in The Second Epistle of Clement Concerning Virginity
believers say, "Never will we eat flesh, that we may not make our brother to stumble."
"For if any of such meats make a brother to stumble, I shall not eat it as long as the world lasts," says he, "that I may not make my brother stumble."
and again, "If meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend."
Certainly let them not cause a scandal to the brethren or sisters, since it is written, "If meat cause my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend."
Go to the Chronological List of all Early Christian Writings
Please buy the CD to support the site, view it without ads, and get bonus stuff!