Altogether, the Epistle is a gem of purest ray; and, while suggesting some
difficulties as to interpretation and exposition, it is practically clear as
to argument and intent. Mathetes is, perhaps, the first of the apologists.
Text edited by Rev. Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson and
first published by T&T Clark in Edinburgh in 1867. Additional
introductionary material and notes provided for the American
edition by A. Cleveland Coxe, 1886.
Introductory Note to the Epistle of Mathetes to Diognetus
[a.d. 130.] The anonymous author of this Epistle gives himself the title
(Mathetes) "a disciple  of the Apostles," and I venture to adopt it as
his name. It is about all we know of him, and it serves a useful end. I
place his letter here, as a sequel to the Clementine Epistle, for several
reasons, which I think scholars will approve: (1) It is full of the Pauline
spirit, and exhales the same pure and primitive fragrance which is
characteristic of Clement. (2) No theory as to its date very much conflicts
with that which I adopt, and it is sustained by good authorities. (3) But,
as a specimen of the persuasives against Gentilism which early Christians
employed in their intercourse with friends who adhered to heathenism, it
admirably illustrates the temper prescribed by St. Paul (2 Tim. ii. 24), and
not less the peculiar social relations of converts to the Gospel with the
more amiable and candid of their personal friends at this early period.
Mathetes was possibly a catechumen of St. Paul or of one of the apostle s
associates. I assume that his correspondent was the tutor of M. Aurelius.
Placed just here, it fills a lacuna in the series, and takes the place of
the pseudo (second) Epistle of Clement, which is now relegated to its proper
place with the works falsely ascribed to St. Clement.
The following is the original Introductory Notice of the learned editors and
The following interesting and eloquent Epistle is anonymous, and we have no
clue whatever as to its author. For a considerable period after its
publication in 1592, it was generally ascribed to Justin Martyr. In recent
times Otto has inserted it among the works of that writer, but Semisch and
others contend that it cannot possibly be his. In dealing with this
question, we depend entirely upon the internal evidence, no statement as to
the authorship of the Epistle having descended to us from antiquity. And it
can scarcely be denied that the whole tone of the Epistle, as well as
special passages which it contains, points to some other writer than Justin.
Accordingly, critics are now for the most part agreed that it is not his,
and that it must be ascribed to one who lived at a still earlier date in the
history of the Church. Several internal arguments have been brought forward
in favour of this opinion. Supposing chap. xi. to be genuine, it has been
supported by the fact that the writer there styles himself "a disciple of
the apostles." But there is great suspicion that the two concluding chapters
are spurious; and even though admitted to be genuine, the expression quoted
evidently admits of a different explanation from that which implies the
writer's personal acquaintance with the apostles: it might, indeed, be
adopted by one even at the present day. More weight is to be attached to
those passages in which the writer speaks of Christianity as still being a
new thing in the world. Expressions to this effect occur in several places
(chap. i., ii., ix.), and seem to imply that the author lived very little,
if at all, after the apostolic age. There is certainly nothing in the
Epistle which is inconsistent with this opinion; and we may therefore
believe, that in this beautiful composition we possess a genuine production
of some apostolic man who lived not later than the beginning of the second
The names of Clement of Rome and of Apollos have both been suggested as
those of the probable author. Such opinions, however, are pure fancies,
which it is perhaps impossible to refute, but which rest on nothing more
than conjecture. Nor can a single word be said as to the person named
Diognetus, to whom the letter is addressed. We must be content to leave both
points in hopeless obscurity, and simply accept the Epistle as written by an
earnest and intelligent Christian to a sincere inquirer among the Gentiles,
towards the close of the apostolic age.
It is much to be regretted that the text is often so very doubtful. Only
three mss. of the Epistle, all probably exhibiting the same original text,
are known to exist; and in not a few passages the readings are, in
consequence, very defective and obscure. But notwithstanding this drawback,
and the difficulty of representing the full force and elegance of the
original, this Epistle, as now presented to the English reader, can hardly
fail to excite both his deepest interest and admiration.
[N.B. Interesting speculations concerning this precious work may be seen in
Bunsen's Hippolytus and his Age, vol. i. p. 188. The learned do not seem
convinced by this author, but I have adopted his suggestion as to Diognetus
the tutor of M. Aurelius.]
 apostolōn genomenos mathētēs. Cap. xi.
The Epistle of Mathetes to Diognetus
Chapter I. Occasion of the epistle.
Since I see thee, most excellent Diognetus, exceedingly desirous to learn
the mode of worshipping God prevalent among the Christians, and inquiring
very carefully and earnestly concerning them, what God they trust in, and
what form of religion they observe,  so as all to look down upon the
world itself, and despise death, while they neither esteem those to be gods
that are reckoned such by the Greeks, nor hold to the superstition of the
Jews; and what is the affection which they cherish among themselves; and
why, in fine, this new kind or practice [of piety] has only now entered into
the world,  and not long ago; I cordially welcome this thy desire, and
I implore God, who enables us both to speak and to hear, to grant to me so
to speak, that, above all, I may hear you have been edified,  and to
you so to hear, that I who speak may have no cause of regret for having done
 Literally, "trusting in what God, etc., they look down."
 Or, "life,"
 Some read, "that you by hearing may be edified."
Chapter II. The vanity of idols.
Come, then, after you have freed  yourself from all prejudices
possessing your mind, and laid aside what you have been accustomed to, as
something apt to deceive  you, and being made, as if from the
beginning, a new man, inasmuch as, according to your own confession, you are
to be the hearer of a new [system of] doctrine; come and contemplate, not
with your eyes only, but with your understanding, the substance and the form
 of those whom ye declare and deem to be gods. Is not one of them a
stone similar to that on which we tread? Is  not a second brass, in no
way superior to those vessels which are constructed for our ordinary use? Is
not a third wood, and that already rotten? Is not a fourth silver, which
needs a man to watch it, lest it be stolen? Is not a fifth iron, consumed by
rust? Is not a sixth earthenware, in no degree more valuable than that which
is formed for the humblest purposes? Are not all these of corruptible
matter? Are they not fabricated by means of iron and fire? Did not the
sculptor fashion one of them, the brazier a second, the silversmith a third,
and the potter a fourth? Was not every one of them, before they were formed
by the arts of these [workmen] into the shape of these [gods], each in its
 own way subject to change? Would not those things which are now
vessels, formed of the same materials, become like to such, if they met with
the same artificers? Might not these, which are now worshipped by you, again
be made by men vessels similar to others? Are they not all deaf? Are they
not blind? Are they not without life? Are they not destitute of feeling? Are
they not incapable of motion? Are they not all liable to rot? Are they not
all corruptible? These things ye call gods; these ye serve; these ye
worship; and ye become altogether like to them. For this reason ye hate the
Christians, because they do not deem these to be gods. But do not ye
yourselves, who now think and suppose [such to be gods], much more cast
contempt upon them than they [the Christians do]? Do ye not much more mock
and insult them, when ye worship those that are made of stone and
earthenware, without appointing any persons to guard them; but those made of
silver and gold ye shut up by night, and appoint watchers to look after them
by day, lest they be stolen? And by those gifts which ye mean to present to
them, do ye not, if they are possessed of sense, rather punish [than honour]
them? But if, on the other hand, they are destitute of sense, ye convict
them of this fact, while ye worship them with blood and the smoke of
sacrifices. Let any one of you suffer such indignities!  Let any one of
you endure to have such things done to himself! But not a single human being
will, unless compelled to it, endure such treatment, since he is endowed
with sense and reason. A stone, however, readily bears it, seeing it is
insensible. Certainly you do not show [by your  conduct] that he [your
God] is possessed of sense. And as to the fact that Christians are not
accustomed to serve such gods, I might easily find many other things to say;
but if even what has been said does not seem to any one sufficient, I deem
it idle to say anything further.
 Or, "purified."
 Literally, "which is deceiving."
 Literally, "of what substance, or of what form."
 Some make this and the following clauses affirmative instead of
 The text is here corrupt. Several attempts at emendation have been
made, but without any marked success.
 Some read, "Who of you would tolerate these things?" etc.
 The text is here uncertain, and the sense obscure. The meaning seems
to be, that by sprinkling their gods with blood, etc., they tended to prove
that these were not possessed of sense.
Chapter III. Superstitions of the Jews.
And next, I imagine that you are most desirous of hearing something on this
point, that the Christians do not observe the same forms of divine worship
as do the Jews. The Jews, then, if they abstain from the kind of service
above described, and deem it proper to worship one God as being Lord of all,
[are right]; but if they offer Him worship in the way which we have
described, they greatly err. For while the Gentiles, by offering such things
to those that are destitute of sense and hearing, furnish an example of
madness; they, on the other hand by thinking to offer these things to God as
if He needed them, might justly reckon it rather an act of folly than of
divine worship. For He that made heaven and earth, and all that is therein,
and gives to us all the things of which we stand in need, certainly requires
none of those things which He Himself bestows on such as think of furnishing
them to Him. But those who imagine that, by means of blood, and the smoke of
sacrifices and burnt-offerings, they offer sacrifices [acceptable] to Him,
and that by such honours they show Him respect, these, by  supposing
that they can give anything to Him who stands in need of nothing, appear to
me in no respect to differ from those who studiously confer the same honour
on things destitute of sense, and which therefore are unable to enjoy such
 The text here is very doubtful. We have followed that adopted by most
Chapter IV. The other observances of the Jews.
But as to their scrupulosity concerning meats, and their superstition as
respects the Sabbaths, and their boasting about circumcision, and their
fancies about fasting and the new moons, which are utterly ridiculous and
unworthy of notice, I do not  think that you require to learn anything
from me. For, to accept some of those things which have been formed by God
for the use of men as properly formed, and to reject others as useless and
redundant, how can this be lawful? And to speak falsely of God, as if He
forbade us to do what is good on the Sabbath-days, how is not this impious?
And to glory in the circumcision  of the flesh as a proof of election,
and as if, on account of it, they were specially beloved by God, how is it
not a subject of ridicule? And as to their observing months and days, 
as if waiting upon  the stars and the moon, and their distributing,
 according to their own tendencies, the appointments of God, and the
vicissitudes of the seasons, some for festivities,  and others for
mourning, who would deem this a part of divine worship, and not much rather
a manifestation of folly? I suppose, then, you are sufficiently convinced
that the Christians properly abstain from the vanity and error common [to
both Jews and Gentiles], and from the busy-body spirit and vain boasting of
the Jews; but you must not hope to learn the mystery of their peculiar mode
of worshipping God from any mortal.
 Otto, resting on ms. authority, omits the negative, but the sense
seems to require its insertion.
 Literally, "lessening."
 Comp. Gal. iv. 10.
 This seems to refer to the practice of Jews in fixing the beginning of
the day, and consequently of the Sabbath, from the rising of the stars. They
used to say, that when three stars of moderate magnitude appeared, it was
night; when two, it was twilight; and when only one, that day had not yet
departed. It thus came to pass (according to their night-day (nuchthēmeron)
reckoning), that whosoever engaged in work on the evening of Friday, the
beginning of the Sabbath, after three stars of moderate size were visible,
was held to have sinned, and had to present a trespass-offering; and so on,
according to the fanciful rule described.
 Otto supplies the lacuna which here occurs in the mss. so as to read
 The great festivals of the Jews are here referred to on the one hand,
and the day of atonement on the other.
Chapter V. The manners of the Christians.
For the Christians are distinguished from other men neither by country, nor
language, nor the customs which they observe. For they neither inhabit
cities of their own, nor employ a peculiar form of speech, nor lead a life
which is marked out by any singularity. The course of conduct which they
follow has not been devised by any speculation or deliberation of
inquisitive men; nor do they, like some, proclaim themselves the advocates
of any merely human doctrines. But, inhabiting Greek as well as barbarian
cities, according as the lot of each of them has determined, and following
the customs of the natives in respect to clothing, food, and the rest of
their ordinary conduct, they display to us their wonderful and confessedly
striking  method of life. They dwell in their own countries, but simply
as sojourners. As citizens, they share in all things with others, and yet
endure all things as if foreigners. Every foreign land is to them as their
native country, and every land of their birth as a land of strangers. They
marry, as do all [others]; they beget children; but they do not destroy
their offspring.  They have a common table, but not a common bed. 
They are in the flesh, but they do not live after the flesh.  They pass
their days on earth, but they are citizens of heaven.  They obey the
prescribed laws, and at the same time surpass the laws by their lives. They
love all men, and are persecuted by all. They are unknown and condemned;
they are put to death, and restored to life.  They are poor, yet make
many rich;  they are in lack of all things, and yet abound in all; they
are dishonoured, and yet in their very dishonour are glorified. They are
evil spoken of, and yet are justified; they are reviled, and bless; 
they are insulted, and repay the insult with honour; they do good, yet are
punished as evil-doers. When punished, they rejoice as if quickened into
life; they are assailed by the Jews as foreigners, and are persecuted by the
Greeks; yet those who hate them are unable to assign any reason for their
 Literally, "paradoxical."
 Literally, "cast away fœtuses."
 Otto omits "bed," which is an emendation, and gives the second
"common" the sense of unclean.
 Comp. 2 Cor. x. 3.
 Comp. Phil. iii. 20.
 Comp. 2 Cor. vi. 9.
 Comp. 2 Cor. vi. 10.
 Comp. 2 Cor. iv. 12.
Chapter VI. The relation of Christians to the world.
To sum up all in one word what the soul is in the body, that are Christians
in the world. The soul is dispersed through all the members of the body, and
Christians are scattered through all the cities of the world. The soul
dwells in the body, yet is not of the body; and Christians dwell in the
world, yet are not of the world.  The invisible soul is guarded by the
visible body, and Christians are known indeed to be in the world, but their
godliness remains invisible. The flesh hates the soul, and wars against it,
 though itself suffering no injury, because it is prevented from
enjoying pleasures; the world also hates the Christians, though in nowise
injured, because they abjure pleasures. The soul loves the flesh that hates
it, and [loves also] the members; Christians likewise love those that hate
them. The soul is imprisoned in the body, yet preserves  that very
body; and Christians are confined in the world as in a prison, and yet they
are the preservers  of the world. The immortal soul dwells in a mortal
tabernacle; and Christians dwell as sojourners in corruptible [bodies],
looking for an incorruptible dwelling  in the heavens. The soul, when
but ill-provided with food and drink, becomes better; in like manner, the
Christians, though subjected day by day to punishment, increase the more in
number.  God has assigned them this illustrious position, which it were
unlawful for them to forsake.
 John xvii. 11, 14, 16.
 Comp. 1 Pet. ii. 11.
 Literally, "keeps together."
 Literally, "keeps together."
 Literally, "incorruption."
 Or, "though punished, increase in number daily."
Chapter VII. The manifestation of Christ.
For, as I said, this was no mere earthly invention which was delivered to
them, nor is it a mere human system of opinion, which they judge it right to
preserve so carefully, nor has a dispensation of mere human mysteries been
committed to them, but truly God Himself, who is almighty, the Creator of
all things, and invisible, has sent from heaven, and placed among men, [Him
who is] the truth, and the holy and incomprehensible Word, and has firmly
established Him in their hearts. He did not, as one might have imagined,
send to men any servant, or angel, or ruler, or any one of those who bear
sway over earthly things, or one of those to whom the government of things
in the heavens has been entrusted, but the very Creator and Fashioner of all
things by whom He made the heavens by whom he enclosed the sea within its
proper bounds whose ordinances  all the stars  faithfully
observe from whom the sun  has received the measure of his daily course
to be observed  whom the moon obeys, being commanded to shine in the
night, and whom the stars also obey, following the moon in her course; by
whom all things have been arranged, and placed within their proper limits,
and to whom all are subject the heavens and the things that are therein, the
earth and the things that are therein, the sea and the things that are
therein fire, air, and the abyss the things which are in the heights, the
things which are in the depths, and the things which lie between. This
[messenger] He sent to them. Was it then, as one  might conceive, for
the purpose of exercising tyranny, or of inspiring fear and terror? By no
means, but under the influence of clemency and meekness. As a king sends his
son, who is also a king, so sent He Him; as God  He sent Him; as to men
He sent Him; as a Saviour He sent Him, and as seeking to persuade, not to
compel us; for violence has no place in the character of God. As calling us
He sent Him, not as vengefully pursuing us; as loving us He sent Him, not as
judging us. For He will yet send Him to judge us, and who shall endure His
appearing?  Do you not see them exposed to wild beasts, that they may
be persuaded to deny the Lord, and yet not overcome? Do you not see that the
more of them are punished, the greater becomes the number of the rest? This
does not seem to be the work of man: this is the power of God; these are the
evidences of His manifestation.
 Literally, "mysteries."
 Literally, "elements."
 The word "sun," though omitted in the mss., should manifestly be
 Literally, "has received to observe."
 Literally, "one of men."
 "God" here refers to the person sent.
 [Comp. Mal. iii. 2. The Old Testament is frequently in mind, if not
expressly quoted by Mathetes.] A considerable gap here occurs in the mss.
Chapter VIII. The miserable state of men before the coming of the Word.
For, who of men at all understood before His coming what God is? Do you
accept of the vain and silly doctrines of those who are deemed trustworthy
philosophers? of whom some said that fire was God, calling that God to which
they themselves were by and by to come; and some water; and others some
other of the elements formed by God. But if any one of these theories be
worthy of approbation, every one of the rest of created things might also be
declared to be God. But such declarations are simply the startling and
erroneous utterances of deceivers;  and no man has either seen Him, or
made Him known,  but He has revealed Himself. And He has manifested
Himself through faith, to which alone it is given to behold God. For God,
the Lord and Fashioner of all things, who made all things, and assigned them
their several positions, proved Himself not merely a friend of mankind, but
also long-suffering [in His dealings with them]. Yea, He was always of such
a character, and still is, and will ever be, kind and good, and free from
wrath, and true, and the only one who is [absolutely] good;  and He
formed in His mind a great and unspeakable conception, which He communicated
to His Son alone. As long, then, as He held and preserved His own wise
counsel in concealment,  He appeared to neglect us, and to have no care
over us. But after He revealed and laid open, through His beloved Son, the
things which had been prepared from the beginning, He conferred every
blessing  all at once upon us, so that we should both share in His
benefits, and see and be active  [in His service]. Who of us would ever
have expected these things? He was aware, then, of all things in His own
mind, along with His Son, according to the relation  subsisting between
 Literally, "these things are the marvels and error."
 Or, "known Him."
 Comp. Matt. xix. 17.
 Literally, "in a mystery."
 Literally, "all things."
 The sense is here very obscure. We have followed the text of Otto, who
fills up the lacuna in the ms. as above. Others have, "to see, and to handle
 Literally, "economically."
Chapter IX. Why the Son was sent so late.
As long then as the former time  endured, He permitted us to be borne
along by unruly impulses, being drawn away by the desire of pleasure and
various lusts. This was not that He at all delighted in our sins, but that
He simply endured them; nor that He approved the time of working iniquity
which then was, but that He sought to form a mind conscious of
righteousness,  so that being convinced in that time of our
unworthiness of attaining life through our own works, it should now, through
the kindness of God, be vouchsafed to us; and having made it manifest that
in ourselves we were unable to enter into the kingdom of God, we might
through the power of God be made able. But when our wickedness had reached
its height, and it had been clearly shown that its reward,  punishment
and death, was impending over us; and when the time had come which God had
before appointed for manifesting His own kindness and power, how  the
one love of God, through exceeding regard for men, did not regard us with
hatred, nor thrust us away, nor remember our iniquity against us, but showed
great long-suffering, and bore with us,  He Himself took on Him the
burden of our iniquities, He gave His own Son as a ransom for us, the holy
One for transgressors, the blameless One for the wicked, the righteous One
for the unrighteous, the incorruptible One for the corruptible, the immortal
One for them that are mortal. For what other thing was capable of covering
our sins than His righteousness? By what other one was it possible that we,
the wicked and ungodly, could be justified, than by the only Son of God? O
sweet exchange! O unsearchable operation! O benefits surpassing all
expectation! that the wickedness of many should be hid in a single righteous
One, and that the righteousness of One should justify many transgressors!
 Having therefore convinced us in the former time  that our nature
was unable to attain to life, and having now revealed the Saviour who is
able to save even those things which it was [formerly] impossible to save,
by both these facts He desired to lead us to trust in His kindness, to
esteem Him our Nourisher, Father, Teacher, Counsellor, Healer, our Wisdom,
Light, Honour, Glory, Power, and Life, so that we should not be anxious
 concerning clothing and food.
 Otto refers for a like contrast between these two times to Rom. iii.
21-26, Rom. v. 20 and Gal. iv. 4. [Comp. Acts xvii. 30.]
 The reading and sense are doubtful.
 Both the text and rendering are here somewhat doubtful, but the sense
will in any case be much the same.
 Many variations here occur in the way in which the lacuna of the mss.
is to be supplied. They do not, however, greatly affect the meaning.
 In the ms. "saying" is here inserted, as if the words had been
regarded as a quotation from Isa. liii. 11.
 [See Bossuet, who quotes it as from Justin Martyr (Tom. iii. p. 171).
Sermon on Circumcision.]
 That is, before Christ appeared.
 Comp. Matt. vi. 25, etc. [Mathetes, in a single sentence, expounds a
most practical text with comprehensive views.]
Chapter X. The blessings that will flow from faith.
If you also desire [to possess] this faith, you likewise shall receive first
of all the knowledge of the Father.  For God has loved mankind, on
whose account He made the world, to whom He rendered subject all the things
that are in it,  to whom He gave reason and understanding, to whom
alone He imparted the privilege of looking upwards to Himself, whom He
formed after His own image, to whom He sent His only-begotten Son, to whom
He has promised a kingdom in heaven, and will give it to those who have
loved Him. And when you have attained this knowledge, with what joy do you
think you will be filled? Or, how will you love Him who has first so loved
you? And if you love Him, you will be an imitator of His kindness. And do
not wonder that a man may become an imitator of God. He can, if he is
willing. For it is not by ruling over his neighbours, or by seeking to hold
the supremacy over those that are weaker, or by being rich, and showing
violence towards those that are inferior, that happiness is found; nor can
any one by these things become an imitator of God. But these things do not
at all constitute His majesty. On the contrary he who takes upon himself the
burden of his neighbour; he who, in whatsoever respect he may be superior,
is ready to benefit another who is deficient; he who, whatsoever things he
has received from God, by distributing these to the needy, becomes a god to
those who receive [his benefits]: he is an imitator of God. Then thou shalt
see, while still on earth, that God in the heavens rules over [the
universe]; then thou shall begin to speak the mysteries of God; then shalt
thou both love and admire those that suffer punishment because they will not
deny God; then shall thou condemn the deceit and error of the world when
thou shall know what it is to live truly in heaven, when thou shalt despise
that which is here esteemed to be death, when thou shalt fear what is truly
death, which is reserved for those who shall be condemned to the eternal
fire, which shall afflict those even to the end that are committed to it.
Then shalt thou admire those who for righteousness sake endure the fire
that is but for a moment, and shalt count them happy when thou shalt know
[the nature of] that fire.
 Thus Otto supplies the lacuna; others conjecture somewhat different
 So Böhl. Sylburgius and Otto read, "in the earth."
Chapter XI. These things are worthy to be known and believed.
I do not speak of things strange to me, nor do I aim at anything
inconsistent with right reason;  but having been a disciple of the
Apostles, I am become a teacher of the Gentiles. I minister the things
delivered to me to those that are disciples worthy of the truth. For who
that is rightly taught and begotten by the loving  Word, would not seek
to learn accurately the things which have been clearly shown by the Word to
His disciples, to whom the Word being manifested has revealed them, speaking
plainly [to them], not understood indeed by the unbelieving, but conversing
with the disciples, who, being esteemed faithful by Him, acquired a
knowledge of the mysteries of the Father? For which  reason He sent the
Word, that He might be manifested to the world; and He, being despised by
the people [of the Jews], was, when preached by the Apostles, believed on by
the Gentiles.  This is He who was from the beginning, who appeared as
if new, and was found old, and yet who is ever born afresh in the hearts of
the saints. This is He who, being from everlasting, is to-day called 
the Son; through whom the Church is enriched, and grace, widely spread,
increases in the saints, furnishing understanding, revealing mysteries,
announcing times, rejoicing over the faithful, giving  to those that
seek, by whom the limits of faith are not broken through, nor the boundaries
set by the fathers passed over. Then the fear of the law is chanted, and the
grace of the prophets is known, and the faith of the gospels is established,
and the tradition of the Apostles is preserved, and the grace of the Church
exults; which grace if you grieve not, you shall know those things which the
Word teaches, by whom He wills, and when He pleases. For whatever things we
are moved to utter by the will of the Word commanding us, we communicate to
you with pains, and from a love of the things that have been revealed to us.
 Some render, "nor do I rashly seek to persuade others."
 Some propose to read, "and becoming a friend to the Word."
 It has been proposed to connect this with the preceding sentence, and
read, "have known the mysteries of the Father, viz., for what purpose He
sent the Word."
 [Comp. 1 Tim. iii. 16.]
 Or, "esteemed."
 Or, "given."
Chapter XII. The importance of knowledge to true spiritual life.
When you have read and carefully listened to these things, you shall know
what God bestows on such as rightly love Him, being made [as ye are] a
paradise of delight, presenting  in yourselves a tree bearing all kinds
of produce and flourishing well, being adorned with various fruits. For in
this place  the tree of knowledge and the tree of life have been
planted; but it is not the tree of knowledge that destroys it is
disobedience that proves destructive. Nor truly are those words without
significance which are written, how God from the beginning planted the tree
of life in the midst of paradise, revealing through knowledge the way to
life,  and when those who were first formed did not use this
[knowledge] properly, they were, through the fraud of the Serpent, stripped
naked.  For neither can life exist without knowledge, nor is knowledge
secure without life. Wherefore both were planted close together. The
Apostle, perceiving the force [of this conjunction], and blaming that
knowledge which, without true doctrine, is admitted to influence life, 
declares, "Knowledge puffeth up, but love edifieth." For he who thinks he
knows anything without true knowledge, and such as is witnessed to by life,
knows nothing, but is deceived by the Serpent, as not  loving life. But
he who combines knowledge with fear, and seeks after life, plants in hope,
looking for fruit. Let your heart be your wisdom; and let your life be true
knowledge  inwardly received. Bearing this tree and displaying its
fruit, thou shalt always gather  in those things which are desired by
God, which the Serpent cannot reach, and to which deception does not
approach; nor is Eve then corrupted,  but is trusted as a virgin; and
salvation is manifested, and the Apostles are filled with understanding, and
the Passover  of the Lord advances, and the choirs  are gathered
together, and are arranged in proper order, and the Word rejoices in
teaching the saints, by whom the Father is glorified: to whom be glory for
ever. Amen. 
 Literally, "bringing forth."
 That is, in Paradise.
 Literally "revealing life."
 Or, "deprived of it."
 Literally, "knowledge without the truth of a command exercised to
life." See 1 Cor. viii. 1.
 The ms. is here defective. Some read, "on account of the love of
 Or, "true word," or "reason."
 Or, "reap."
 The meaning seems to be, that if the tree of true knowledge and life
be planted within you, you shall continue free from blemishes and sins.
 [This looks like a reference to the Apocalypse, Rev. v. 9., Rev. xix.
7., Rev. xx. 5.]
 Here Bishop Wordsworth would read klēroi, cites 1 Pet. v. 3, and
refers to Suicer (Lexicon) in voce klēros.]
 [Note the Clement-like doxology.]
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