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

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Chapter XVII.—Heretics, in Fact, Do Not Use, But Only Abuse, Scripture. No Common Ground Between Them and You.

Now this heresy of yours[1] does not receive certain Scriptures; and whichever of them it does receive, it perverts by means of additions and diminutions, for the accomplishment of it own purpose; and such as it does receive, it receives not in their entirety; but even when it does receive any up to a certain point[2] as entire, it nevertheless perverts even these by the contrivance of diverse interpretations. Truth is just as much opposed by an adulteration of its meaning as it is by a corruption of its text.[3] Their vain presumptions must needs refuse to acknowledge the (writings) whereby they are refuted. They rely on those which they have falsely put together, and which they have selected, because of[4] their ambiguity. Though most skilled[5] in the Scriptures, you will make no progress,[6] when everything which you maintain is denied on the other side, and whatever you deny is (by them) maintained. As for yourself, indeed, you will lose nothing but your breath, and gain nothing but vexation from their blasphemy.


  1. Ista hæresis.
  2. Aliquatenus.
  3. Stilus.
  4. “De” has often the sense of “propter” in our author.
  5. Literally, “O most skilled.”
  6. Quid promovebis.