Ante-Nicene Fathers/Volume III/Anti-Marcion/Against the Valentinians/XXV

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Chapter XXV.—An Extravagant Way of Accounting for the Communication of the Spiritual Nature to Man. It Was Furtively Managed by Achamoth, Through the Unconscious Agency of Her Son.

In Achamoth, moreover, there was inherent a certain property of a spiritual germ, of her mother Sophia’s substance; and Achamoth herself had carefully severed off (the same quality), and implanted it in her son the Demiurge, although he was actually unconscious of it. It is for you to imagine[1] the industry of this clandestine arrangement.  For to this end had she deposited and concealed (this germ), that, whenever the Demiurge came to impart life to Adam by his inbreathing, he might at the same time draw off from the vital principle[2] the spiritual seed, and, as by a pipe, inject it into the clayey nature; in order that, being then fecundated in the material body as in a womb, and having fully grown there, it might be found fit for one day receiving the perfect Word.[3] When, therefore, the Demiurge commits to Adam the transmission of his own vital principle,[4] the spiritual man lay hid, although inserted by his breath, and at the same time introduced into the body, because the Demiurge knew no more about his mother’s seed than about herself. To this seed they give the name of Ecclesia (the Church), the mirror of the church above, and the perfection[5] of man; tracing this perfection from Achamoth, just as they do the animal nature from the Demiurge, the clayey material of the body (they derive) from the primordial substance,[6] the flesh from Matter. So that you have a new Geryon here, only a fourfold (rather than a threefold) monster.


  1. Accipe.
  2. Anima derivaret.
  3. Sermoni perfecto.
  4. Traducem animæ suæ.
  5. Censum.
  6. Or, the substance of ᾽Αρχή.