Ante-Nicene Fathers/Volume III/Anti-Marcion/Appendix: Against All Heresies/VI

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Ante-Nicene Fathers Vol. III, Anti-Marcion, Appendix: Against All Heresies
by Tertullian, translated by Sydney Thelwall
155606Ante-Nicene Fathers Vol. III, Anti-Marcion, Appendix: Against All Heresies — VISydney ThelwallTertullian

Chapter VI.—Cerdo, Marcion, Lucan, Apelles.

To this is added one Cerdo. He introduces two first causes,[1] that is, two Gods—one good, the other cruel:[2] the good being the superior; the latter, the cruel one, being the creator of the world.[3] He repudiates the prophecies and the Law; renounces God the Creator; maintains that Christ who came was the Son of the superior God; affirms that He was not in the substance of flesh; states Him to have been only in a phantasmal shape, to have not really suffered, but undergone a quasipassion, and not to have been born of a virgin, nay, really not to have been born at all. A resurrection of the soul merely does he approve, denying that of the body.  The Gospel of Luke alone, and that not entire, does he receive. Of the Apostle Paul he takes neither all the epistles, nor in their integrity. The Acts of the Apostles and the Apocalypse he rejects as false.

After him emerged a disciple of his, one Marcion by name, a native of Pontus,[4] son of a bishop, excommunicated because of a rape committed on a certain virgin.[5] He, starting from the fact that it is said, “Every good tree beareth good fruit, but an evil evil,”[6] attempted to approve the heresy of Cerdo; so that his assertions are identical with those of the former heretic before him.

After him arose one Lucan by name, a follower and disciple of Marcion. He, too, wading through the same kinds of blasphemy, teaches the same as Marcion and Cerdo had taught.

Close on their heels follows Apelles, a disciple of Marcion, who after lapsing, into his own carnality,[7] was severed from Marcion. He introduces one God in the infinite upper regions, and states that He made many powers and angels; beside Him, withal, another Virtue, which he affirms to be called Lord, but represents as an angel. By him he will have it appear that the world[8] was originated in imitation of a superior world.[9] With this lower world he mingled throughout (a principle of) repentance, because he had not made it so perfectly as that superior world had been originated. The Law and the prophets he repudiates. Christ he neither, like Marcion, affirms to have been in a phantasmal shape, nor yet in substance of a true body, as the Gospel teaches; but says, because He descended from the upper regions, that in the course of His descent He wove together for Himself a starry and airy[10] flesh; and, in His resurrection, restored, in the course of His ascent, to the several individual elements whatever had been borrowed in His descent: and thus—the several parts of His body dispersed—He reinstated in heaven His spirit only. This man denies the resurrection of the flesh. He uses, too, one only apostle; but that is Marcion’s, that is, a mutilated one. He teaches the salvation of souls alone. He has, besides, private but extraordinary lections of his own, which he calls “Manifestations”[11] of one Philumene,[12] a girl whom he follows as a prophetess.  He has, besides, his own books, which he has entitled books of Syllogisms, in which he seeks to prove that whatever Moses has written about God is not true, but is false.


  1. Initia duo.
  2. Sævum.
  3. Mundi.
  4. “Ponticus genere,” lit. “a Pontic by race,” which of course may not necessarily, like our native, imply actual birth in Pontus. [Note—“son of a bishop:” an index of early date, though not necessarily Ante-Nicene. A mere forgery of later origin would have omitted it.]
  5. Rig., with whom Oehler agrees, reminds us that neither in the de Præscr. nor in the adv. Marc., nor, apparently, in Irenæus, is any such statement brought forward.
  6. See Matt. vii. 17.
  7. See de Præscr. c. xxx., and comp. with it what is said of Marcion above.
  8. Mundum.
  9. Mundi.
  10. “Aëream,” i.e., composed of the air, the lower air, or atmosphere; not “aetheream,” of the upper air, or ether.
  11. Phaneroseis. Oehler refers to de Præscr. c. xxx. q. v.
  12. φιλουμένη, “loved one.”