Ante-Nicene Fathers/Volume III/Anti-Marcion/The Prescription Against Heretics/Chapter XIX

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Chapter XIX.—Appeal, in Discussion of Heresy, Lies Not to the Scriptures. The Scriptures Belong Only to Those Who Have the Rule of Faith.

Our appeal, therefore, must not be made to the Scriptures; nor must controversy be admitted on points in which victory will either be impossible,[1] or uncertain, or not certain enough.[2] But even if a discussion from the Scriptures[3] should not turn out in such a way as to place both sides on a par, (yet) the natural order of things would require that this point should be first proposed, which is now the only one which we must discuss: “With whom lies that very faith to which the Scriptures belong.[4] From what and through whom, and when, and to whom, has been handed down that rule,[5] by which men become Christians?” For wherever it shall be manifest that the true Christian rule and faith shall be, there will likewise be the true Scriptures and expositions thereof, and all the Christian traditions.


  1. Nulla.
  2. Parum certa.
  3. Conlatio scripturarum, or, “a polemical comparison of the Scriptures.”
  4. Quibus competat fides ipsa cujus sint Scripturæ.
  5. Disciplina [or, where was the guide-post set?]