Disputes commonly arise from people's preconceived beliefs, and we will not have a clear understanding of the origins, course and fundamental issues of them if we are unaware of these beliefs. I plan to narrate the history of the Church in the first four hundred years and more from the birth of Christ, and especially its history in the fourth century when disputes arose about God and his son between Eusebians and Athanasians which seriously disturbed the whole world. For this reason it would be right to begin my history with an account of the beliefs about God and his son that flourished in the church just before those disputes began. Now we may draw out writers' beliefs with more assurance, it would seem, from their own writings than from the writings of others, and therefore we will first expound the beliefs of those authors whose writings are still extant. But a familiar difficulty arises here from the diversity of sentiments that is sometimes apparent in the same author. There are two causes of this. The author himself may have used some expressions otherwise than as more recent writers commonly use them. Or audacious men may have attempted to tip his book more towards their own beliefs, whether in copying or in translating from Greek to Latin, sometimes by deliberately omitting a number of words, sometimes by slightly altering them, or even by adding material of their own. It will be useful to clarify these two points at the outset.

We have an excellent example of the latter in the Latin translations of Origen's Works. Jerome admittedly made a faithful translation of the books of the Periarchôn, which had been corruptly translated by Rufinus[Editorial Note 1], in order to discredit Rufinus's untrustworthy translation. [Editorial Note 2] But in other works Jerome himself and other translators were the same as Rufinus. In fact both of them openly stated that they were doing this, expecting to win approval, so that it appears not to have been a fault in themselves but a pious habit of the times <2r> to correct the writings of the {Older} authors and adapt them to their own beliefs so that readers' eyes might not be hurt by authors' sentiments that they found offensive. – I seem to ask. So too in the Epistle to Pammachius and Oceanus[Editorial Note 3] < insertion from f 1v > he says, Point to a passage where I have defended a heresy, where I have praised some wicked tenet of Origen's. In the reading from Isaiah in which two Seraphims are described as crying out[Editorial Note 4] – when he interpreted them as the son and the holy spirit, did I not change that detestable interpretation to a reference to the two testaments? After some other instances he continues, I have corrected all the things that we{re} amiss. And a little later: Neither more eloquent, etc. – < text from f 2r resumes > I, he says, have corrected all the things that were amiss, and a little later[Editorial Note 5]: I am neither more eloquent than Hilary nor more faithful than Victorinus, both of whom dealt with his treatises not as translators but as authors of original works of their own. St. Ambrose recently adapted the man's Hexaëmeron so that he followed more closely the tenets of Hippolytus and Basil. So too the author of the Preface to Origen's books to the Romans (whether this was Jerome or someone else) [1] declares that he had altered the Homilies of Origen on Genesis, Exodus, and especially Leviticus as he pleased, and had pretty much reduced the volume to the Romans by a half.

It was not only Origen that translators violated. In the 'epilogue' of his Apology for Origen which Rufinus published[Editorial Note 6] under the name of Pamphilus[Editorial Note 7], he writes that Clement, a disciple of the apostles, who was head of the Roman Church after the Apostles, a Bishop and martyr, published books which are called ἀναγνωρισμός, i. e., Recognition. Though the doctrine he expounds in the name of the apostle Peter is more or less truly apostolic in most of the work, in some passages he presents the doctrine of Eunomius in such a way that you would think that it was simply Eunomius arguing, as he asserts emphatically that the son of God is a creation from things that do not exist. Jerome concedes the same thing in bk. 2 of Against Rufinus. So too Photius cod. 112 [Editorial Note 8] writes that the books of Recognitions which begin with ἐγὼ Κλήμης (of which he intimates that he has seen a large number of copies) teem with an infinite number of absurd expressions and blasphemies against the son of God following the doctrine of Arius. But the Latin translation of this book, which is all that is now extant, is free of all these absurdities, and the translator in his Preface lets us know that he has left it for others to handle the discussions of the unbegotten and begotten God and some other things.

It would not be a serious matter if it was only the Latin translations that were unsound <2v> Fraudsters have attacked the Greek text itself. Listen to an outrageous offence.

Jerome (Against Rufinus, bk. 1)[Editorial Note 9] writes: Six books, etc. – – – they have purged. Jerome was not speaking at random when he declared that Origen is very consistent, that he spoke in the same way as the Arians throughout and never in a contrary sense, as Rufinus falsely claimed in the Apology ascribed to Pamphilus.

In the 'epilogue' of the Apology[Editorial Note 10] Rufinus devised some other tricks to prove that the Works of Origen had been corrupted, all of which Jerome refutes in Against Rufinus bk. 2. He even reasoned as follows.[Editorial Note 11] The book of Recognitions of Clement of Rome is crammed with the errors of Eunomius. In the writings of Clement of Alexandria there are Arian things here and there. Dionysius of Alexandria's book against Sabellius is crammed with such sentiments. But it is absurd to impute heresy to such famous figures. Therefore their books have been corrupted by Heretics for[Editorial Note 12] Also Athanasius purged Dionysius in this way. Therefore we must take the same approach to Origen too. So argues Rufinus – and by this one single argument every individual sect of Christians would have had to correct the books of all the ancients and adapt them to their own sentiments in every case. Hear then how Jerome responds (Against Rufinus bk. 2). After quoting the words of Rufinus, he then adds: If it is conceded[Editorial Note 13], he says, that anything that is found in anyone's books has been corrupted by others, nothing will genuinely come from those whose names are attached to it, but it will be <3r> attributed to those who are alleged to have corrupted it. By this muddle of a defence neither Marcion nor Manichaeus nor Arius nor Eunomius will be able to be charged, because whenever we object to any passage in their writings, their disciples will reply that their masters did not publish it in that form, but enemies have contaminated it. [In this way[Editorial Note 14] also that book of yours there will not be yours, but perhaps mine. And my book, in which I respond to your accusation, if you find anything to blame in it no[Editorial Note 15]] – And how, you will say, are some things corrupt in their books? If the causes of the faults I – – – – – (Vol. 2, fol. 79. B.1.) you would be right to declare those men. The end result therefore of the hostilities between Rufinus and Jerome was that the books of the Ancients would not be corrected at a single stroke since all of them could have been corrupted by heretics. And perhaps as a result of the growth and wide dissemination of such a belief some of them suffered some violence in the course of copying.

We have seen the efforts of Rufinus. Would that no one had practised the thing more successfully! The name of Athanasius is too great to be easily brought under suspicion. And yet this is a man who dared anything and everything and got away with it because of the authority of his name. In his book de Synod. Nicaen. decretis[Editorial Note 16]      there is one example after another. He contends there that his creed has been handed down from the fathers, and he cites three of them, Theognostus, Dionysius of Alexandria and Origen; but Origen he cites with the following caveat. Those things, he says[Editorial Note 17], that [Origen] wrote for the sake of argument and contention are not to be taken as words that express his own sentiment, but as the words of men who were disputing with him too pertinaciously. If anyone asks what this is, he will define and declare it without fear[Editorial Note 18]. Here then is the sentiment of the diligent Origen. – The same Origen says elsewhere: but it is not right or safe because of our weakness to deprive the Father, so far as we can, of his only-begotten Word always existing with him, that wisdom in which he rejoiced; for this would imply that he was not always possessed of joy. Behold, we prove that such a sentiment has been handed down from Father to father, from hand to hand. But you are modern-day Jews and disciples <4r> of Caiaphas, and they will prove to be the fathers and ancestors of your words, since you cannot cite as your author even a single knowledgeable or learned person. Thus Athanasius[Editorial Note 19]. He is not modestly putting forward something that he had thoroughly investigated; he comes out with whatever he wanted his followers to believe with unbelievable freedom and confidence. To his final words the six books of Eusebius of Caesarea[Editorial Note 20] may be opposed, which consist of innumerable testimonies to his own case compiled from Origen; the same books may be opposed to his first words also, as well as the testimonies from the books of Origen which we submitted just now from Jerome and those which will be appended later from Petavius[Editorial Note 21]. Eusebius proved by a large number of testimonies that Origen had the same opinions as himself{.} Jerome collected and mulled over Origen's books more than all other men, he translated many of them with enormous labour, and he compiled his own commentaries on the basis of Origen's commentaries; he professed to know the whole of Origen, and on that ground he declared that the man was a real heretic and absolutely consistent in his beliefs; everywhere he abounded in expressions reminiscent of Arianism, and he never said anything to the contrary. Origen's defenders produced nothing to the contrary, Rufinus produced nothing even when challenged by Jerome. Origen's translators Hilary, Victorinus, Eusebius of Vercellae, Ambrose, Jerome, Rufinus, were compelled to alter his beliefs about god and the Son so that Roman ears would not be offended. When Jerome's faithful translation of the book Periarchôn was published, the West was aghast. A dispute about Origen arose at that time, and the more his books were read, the more he was recognised as an Arian. Finally he was condemned on this ground in the fifth ecumenical council{.} Everyone was compelled to condemn a man who was celebrated throughout the world, because there was no way they could make him acceptable to themselves. And yet Athanasius confidently writes that anything that appears in Origen contrary to the catholic faith, is not to be taken as words that express his own sentiment, but as the words of those who were disputing with him too pertinaciously. And he adds:If anyone asks what this is, he will define and declare it without fear. Whether it was in good faith that he wrote this and {strove} to trace the tradition of his own teaching through Origen, may be left to the Reader to judge. If it was not in good faith, his credence is rightly rendered suspect everywhere else.

You will say, then, he has cited the very words of Origen. Furthermore <4v> Origen did not utter words that were completely foreign to Origen's thought, and I know, says Jerome, that he cannot say things by which he contradicts himself. Surely Origen could not so directly contradict his own belief, which he maintained with complete consistency everywhere in his works. Surely he could not assiduously refute his own belief with a good many arguments? < insertion from lower down f 4v > Does he fall into the belief of Sabellius and Athanasius and their like, that the Son is the personal reason, mind and Wisdom of the Father because the father is rational and wise? < text from f 4v resumes > Could Origen rehearse and refute the phrase ἦν ποτὲ ὅτε οὐκ ἦν ὁ υἱὸς[Editorial Note 22] on the ground that it was common among the heretics of his time, even though it only came into use after the controversy between Alexander and Arius? And could he do it with exactly the same arguments and the same linguistic formulae with which the Athanasians were accustomed to argue against the Arians, but which before Athanasius and Alexander no one is recorded as using, namely Symbol (3 adjacent circles) in text < insertion from lower down f 4v > Symbol (3 adjacent circles) in text Symbol (3 adjacent circles) in text before him and Alexander no one is recorded as using, namely that the Image of God always was, nor may God, who is light, be said to have been without brightness, and that if at one time the son was not, at the same time there was not in God wisdom, reason and <5r> life, and that God thus deprived of his wisdom in which he rejoiced was at one time not possessed of joy. < text from f 4v resumes > These things undoubtedly are neither appropriate to Origen nor to the age of Origen, and could not have been written until after the controversy arose between Alexander and Arius. Symbol (rectangle divided by one horizontal and three vertical lines) in text < insertion from lower down f 4v > Symbol (rectangle divided by one horizontal and three vertical lines) in text But they are like as two eggs to arguments that occur everywhere in the works of Athanasius. Arguments which the author often advances in his own name elsewhere, he here repeats under the name of Origen, scarcely even changing the language. < text from f 4v resumes > But perhaps (you will say) Athanasius happened to come upon some spurious book ascribed to Origen. Why then did he not compare it with the rest of the works of Origen before he cited it? And indeed, why did he not give the title of the book so that the Reader might consult it? Origen wrote innumerable Homilies, more than a thousand Commentaries, and very many other treatises; even Jerome was not able to collect them all, for all the effort he made[Editorial Note 23]. Surely Athanasius should have named the book if he wanted Origen to be consulted. By not specifying the book therefore he was protecting himself in case it should be consulted <5r> and he were discredited.

No more trustworthy are the passages Athanasius cites from either Dionysius[Editorial Note 24]. The passages which he offers from Dionysius of Rome are too lengthy to be copied out here in their entirety. Some account of them must suffice. At the beginning[Editorial Note 25] then he introduces Dionysius inveighing against those who pull the monarchy of God apart into three powers as it were, three discrete hypostases and three deities. – For in some way, he says, they are establishing three Gods as they distribute the holy unity into three substances which are independent and completely separate from one another. For it is necessary that the word of god be united with the God of all things and that the holy spirit inhere and habitate in him, and finally[Editorial Note 26] that the Trinity be gathered up and coalesce in a kind of summit, namely the omnipotent God of all things. So he wrote, as if the unity of the trinity were being proclaimed in such explicit words in Dionysius's day, and a dispute had already arisen which was just the same as that which broke out later between the Eusebians and the Athanasians. Moreover Dionysius is here represented as levelling against these imaginary precursors of Arius the calumny which Athanasius habitually foists on the Eusebians, that they declared that the substances of the father and the son were separate from each other and that the Son was not united with the father and inhered in his bosom. The Arians declared that the Son of God inhered in the bosom of the father, being spiritually united with him, and no one, so far as appears (except the Ebionites), ever deny this. Athanasius pretended the opposite in his excessive zeal to get the better of his opponents, as if it were the same thing to deny consubstantiality and to tear the Son from the bosom of the Father. Whether therefore Dionysius had made up the calumny at this early date or Athanasius was faking fabrications of his own under the name of Dionysius, let the Reader judge.

In what follows[Editorial Note 27] Athanasius represents Dionysius as <6r> attacking those who think that the son is a ποίημα, i.e., a made thing[Editorial Note 28]; and arguing as follows: if the son was made, ἦν ὁτὲ οὐκ ἦν, there was a time when he did not exist[Editorial Note 29]. But this expression did not begin to come into use until after the dispute between Arius and Alexander, and therefore it is quite absurd to ascribe it to Dionysius.

Furthermore Dionysius is represented in the following words[Editorial Note 30] as arguing thus: if Christ is the word and wisdom and power (for the holy scriptures affirm[Editorial Note 31] that Christ is these things), and if these things are faculties of god himself, it follows that there was a time when these things were not, if Christ is asserted as coming into being. Therefore there was a time when God lacked these things. And this is quite absurd. The same things are attributed here to Dionysius as were attributed above to Origen, as if both believed that the Son is the personal faculties of God the father, namely the internal Word and wisdom and power by which the Father is rational and wise and powerful. And this was the view of Sabellius and Athanasius, not of the ancient Fathers.

Finally Dionysius is represented as contriving a rather absurd interpretation of the phrase: The Lord created me in the beginning of his ways[Editorial Note 32]. As if the Greek word ἔκτισε here did not mean creavit[Editorial Note 33] but praefecit operibus[Editorial Note 34]{;} if he had rendered the Hebrew word which the Septuagint translated ἔκτισε as ἔκτασε possedit[Editorial Note 35] as it is now usually rendered, it would have been a not unlearned translation. But as he follows the Septuagint translators and contrives a novel interpretation of the Greek word ἔκτισε, he does not so much present and display Dionysius as arguing in a knowledgeable and catholic manner as show himself up as making a terrible mess of a forced translation of a word.


We should now go on to his citations from the other Dionysius[Editorial Note 36], but it would be better first to explain some history. In the parts of Libya that were subject to the see of Alexandria, Sabellius had recently arisen broadcasting his heresy. When this became known, Dionysius, who was Bishop of Alexandria at the time, sent a letter to Euphranor and Ammonius in an attempt to suppress the heresy. This Epistle the Eusebians cited in their own defence. Athanasius acknowledges the passages they relied on in the following words. The enemies of truth, he says[Editorial Note 37], assert that it stands written in the letter of Dionysius that the son of God is a creature and a product, and that he is not by nature proper to the father but is independent of him in his own substance, exactly as the vine is independent of the Farmer and the ship of its builder; and because he is a product, he also did not exist before he was made. He did indeed write this, and we admit that his Epistle runs like this. But <8r> But this was not all he wrote; he wrote several other Epistles, and they ought to have read those too. So Athanasius in lib. de sententia Dionysij[Editorial Note 38].

Since Dionysius wrote this, let us now see in what waters this Ethiopian will be washed.[Editorial Note 39] The story that Athanasius is telling is this: that after Dionysius had written these things, certain men went off to Rome to bring an accusation against him before the Bishop of that city, whose name was also Dionysius, on the ground that he had a low view of the Son of god ‡ < insertion from f 7v > ‡ because he said that he was a product[Editorial Note 40] and not consubstantial with the father. ✝ < insertion from higher up f 7v > ✝ Compare Athan. lib. de Syn. Armin et Seleuc. with lib. de sent. Dionys.[Editorial Note 41] < text from f 7v resumes > A Synod therefore convened in Rome and found serious fault, and Dionysius of Rome wrote out in full their united sentiment, and sent it to his fellow-Bishop of the same name. He directed his missive as much against the followers of his namesake as against the followers of Sabellius, and demanded of his namesake that he should explain the grounds on which the accusation rested. < text from f 8r resumes > Taking this opportunity, Dionysius of Rome directed his missive as much against the followers of the other Dionysius as against the Sabellians,[Editorial Note 42] where he rebukes those who say that the son is not consubstantial with the Father but is a made thing and a product, and he also sent it to Dionysius so that he might explain the grounds on which the accusation rested. The latter therefore soon wrote back an Apology[Editorial Note 43] for himself. From the missive of Dionysius of Rome, a part of which as I showed above was composed by Athanasius, it becomes clear who was the author of this Apology as well as of the whole story. But let us now see on what grounds Dionysius in this Apology claims to have cleared himself. It is that readers have wrongly interpreted the Epistle to Euphranor[Editorial Note 44] and Ammonius, for in that letter they called the son of God a creature and separated him from the Paternal substance not as God but as man.

Athanasius's predecessor is being brought into evidence against Athanasius. His case is attacked by the authority of his own see. Such great prejudice has to be dealt with by any means possible. The authority of the document cannot be impugned. The language is too clear to be twisted to another sense by the mere authority of Athanasius. Dionysius himself therefore will be brought into court to interpret himself. His authority will be rebuffed by his own authority. <8v> But so absurdly, so ridiculously, that even if Dionysius had really interpreted himself in this way, the interpretation would still be rightly judged to be dishonest, forced and futile. For in the Epistle to Euphranor and Ammonius Dionysius is speaking of the Son of God not of the son of man, and is comparing the father and the son with each other not God and man. But when the ancients argue about the Son of God and compare the father and the Son with each other, they always mean by the Son the Word of God, the Son whom the father begot before the ages Symbol (circle surmounted by a cross and containing another cross with the S arm missing) in text+ next page < insertion from f 9v > In fact, Athanasius concedes in what follows that Dionysius had been speaking of the Word. Well then, he says, when Dionysius wrote of the human nature of the son and called him a creature in this sense, surely he was not saying, as the enemies of Christ constantly claim, that he was a mere man? Or when he said that τὁν λόγον, the Word, was not proper to the Substance of the father, surely he did not suppose that the Word was consubstantial with us men? Thus Athanasius, both here and in other places, interpreting what Dionysius had said about the word as being spoken of the human nature of the Word. Let the reader judge whether by this violent mode of interpretation he did more to justify Dionysius or to expose himself as an unblushing sophist. For certainly by this licentious method of interpretation, he could easily have justified all the writings and sayings of the Arians if he had set about to do it. But in order that the unparalleled impudence of his interpretation may be evident, consider this. Dionysius disputing with Sabellius[Editorial Note 45]

But Baronius responds to these things (under the year 363.44) that though Basil says that many of Dionysius's writings were known to him, and that he had read the letter that he sent to Dionysius of Rome, yet he does not seem to have had knowledge of the four books of the Apologia which he wrote in his own defense to the Roman Pontiff himself. Really? Does Basil say letter? Does he not explicitly speak of what Dionysius had written in his Apology, ἐν ὁις, he says, ἀπολογεῖται. But what if he had meant a letter? The Apologia was written in the form of a letter. In any case Basil (Ad Amphiloqu. ch. 39)[Editorial Note 46] writes as follows about the connection of the holy spirit with the son {and} the Father by the particles [in, with, and] in the doxology. In the second letter of Dionysius of Alexandria (strange to say) to his namesake, de elencho et apologia[Editorial Note 47], he ends his discussion in the following way (I will transcribe his actual words for you). Following in the footsteps of these men, we too (he says) who have received the formula and the rule from the elders who lived before us, shall end by giving thanks in the same words as they used as we now dispatch our letter to you: and now to God the father and to the Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, together with the holy spirit, be glory and power for ever and ever. By the second epistle here Baronius understands the second book of the Apology, and <10v> he is right to do so, since those four books were entitled de elencho et apologia[Editorial Note 48], as Athanasius mentions, and this is the same title that Basil gave these Epistles. And yet Basil was so unconvinced by that Apology that he repeats his opinion of Dionysius here, declaring that it is 'strange to hear' that he (being the man he was) pronounced the doxology to father and son with the holy spirit. Add that apart from these four epistles to which the title De Elencho et apologia was given, Athanasius mentions no other letters in apologetic mode to Dionysius of Rome, and accordingly when Basil in the Epistle to Maximus cites the apologetics of Dionysius to his namesake, he must be referring to these epistles{.} But the longer books, e.g. ✝[2] de Natura, de tentationibus, de promissionibus in Ecclesiastes[Editorial Note 49] and so on – we have to say that at that time they were not available to Basil.

Just as therefore there have been no grounds to justify the epistle to Euphranor, so the Apologetic epistles have not succeeded in justifying it, even in the eyes of those who wanted Dionysius to be justified. Are we then to believe that Dionysius was so dishonest, so mendacious, that when rebuked he strove to hide such a manifest error in smoke? Are we to believe also that he is so unskilful that he prepares and publishes an apology that is not going to convince even his friends? God forbid we should make up such fictions about a Man who was celebrated among the ancients for his learning and piety. For it is quite obvious by arguments taken from the Apology itself that it is spurious. For it contains many things that are completely at variance with what the Fathers who lived before the Nicene council wrote, but very like what Athanasius and his allies wrote; so it would not be too bold to say that one of them wrote it.

For in particular the form of the doxology which you heard quoted from Basil just now, n < text from f 8v resumes > – In reply to this Dionysius asserted in his argument Against Sabellius that the Son of God is a creature and independent of the Father in regard to substance. Surely Sabellius was not maintaining that Christ as man was uncreated and consubstantial with the Father? If he did not assert such things about Christ as man but about the word of the father as God? Certainly Dionysius in arguing against him was also talking about the word as God. Similarly when Dionysius asserts that the son of God, because he is a product, was not before he was made, surely this argument was directed against the eternity of the son? But certainly not against the eternity of the son as man. For never did Sabellius or any other of the heretics teach that the Son was man from eternity. Besides the same Dionysius stated the same of the holy spirit as he said of the Son of God; he taught that he too is a creature, as you will soon hear from Basil. Did the holy spirit then have some human nature about which this might be understood? Finally the aforesaid interpretation is so stupid that, for all the authority with which he was endowed, Athanasius failed to persuade even his own credulous followers in this matter. For Gennadius, lib de Eccles. dogm ch. 14[Editorial Note 50], despite all this, says of Dionysius: Let us not believe, he says, that there is anything created or servient in the Trinity, as Dionysius, the source of Arius, implies. Jerome Cont Ruffin bk 2[Editorial Note 51] affirms that Rufinus had written that Dionysius of Alexandria, bishop of the city, in arguing in four volumes against Sabellius, slipped into Arian dogma. But this is not what Rufinus wrote; he wrote that the books of Dionysius as then extant were as follows: <9r> {For this reason also Athana}sius, he says, wrote an Apologeticum for the man's books, because he was certain that he could not have written things that contradicted his own position and because he knew that such things were inserted by ill-wishers.

So Rufinus, even though Athanasius meant not that these things had been interpolated but that they were meant in a different sense. But to Rufinus they seemed to have been interpolated rather than needing to be interpreted in the Athanasian manner. Jerome however was unwilling to say that they had been inserted by ill-wishers, yet he does not quite acquiesce in the explanation of Athanasius either. For it could well have happened, he says, that either they were simply in error [i.e. both Dionysius and Clement] or they wrote in a different sense; and a bit later he says: If someone said [to you, Rufinus]: what companions has Origen in heresy? you would be right to reveal them, namely the writings of both Dionysius and Clement.

Basil too in his Epistle 41 to Maximus[Editorial Note 52] expresses his view very clearly. As for those things, he says, which you ask about the property of Dionysius, very many of his things have come to me, but the books are not here yet; and that is why I have not sent any. But this is my view of him. I do not approve of everything about this man. There are things which I even condemn outright. He himself, as far as I can see, was just about the first to provide men with the germs of that Anomaean impiety which is now causing an uproar everywhere. But I do not think that the cause of this is malice of heart; rather he vehemently desires to counter Sabellius. I always think of him as being like a gardener who in attempting to correct a deformation in a young plant, twists it so strongly the other way that it misses the centre and he bends the shoot to the opposite side. Something like this we reckon is what this man has done. I mean that while he opposes the impiety of the African with gusto, he is not looking ahead of him with any prudence, and has gone off headlong into the opposite evil, with an excessive zeal for conflict as well. For it would have been enough if he had shown that the Father and the Son were not the same so far as the 'subjectum' is concerned, and if he had done so he would have carried off the first prize for his victory against the blasphemer. But he does very much more than defeat this single man; he not only asserts diversity of substances but also difference of essences, and diminution of po <10r> wer and diversity of glory. The end of it was that he exchanged evil for evil and strayed from correctness of doctrine. And so he is seen to be inconsistent in his writings. At one time he gets rid of τὸ ὁμοούσιον, consubstantiality, by his poor handling of the assertion of substances; at another time on the other hand he admits it in the Apology he wrote to his namesake. Not content with all this, he uttered words about the holy spirit which are in no way appropriate to the spirit: he deprives him of the divinity that requires to be adored, and reduces him to an inferior level by placing him within created and servile nature. Thus Basil. Pray now say, fair-minded reader, with what good faith anyone could say that Dionysius cleared himself by means of that Apology, or with what ambition to hide the truth Athanasius employed it. Would any honest man who was convicted of error deny that he had erred, and attempt to hide his fault in a cloud of smoke? Would anyone who was not moronic elaborate and publish in justification such an obvious error that not even his friends and disciples judged it to be sincere? But the Man who had the highest reputation among the ancients for doctrine and piety is neither insincere nor moronic. But let Athanasius rather answer for himself and say how trustworthy is the Apology which he ascribes to Dionysius. For the quotations that he makes from it are so different from the writings of the ante-Nicene fathers and so similar to the writings of Athanasius and his allies so far as accounts of the faith, types of argument and linguistic formulae are concerned, that it would not be too bold to say that it was actually written after the time of the Synod at Nicaea.

For in particular Athanasius quotes this from it[Editorial Note 53]: Christ always was, the Word and wisdom and power. For God was not at any time without these things, the same things he later begat. But neither does the son exist apart from him, but has it from the father that he is. And a little later, Athanasius continues[Editorial Note 54], Dionysius says of him: Now because he is the brightness of the eternal light, he himself also is eternal in every way. For since light always exists, it is certain that its brightness also exists; for it is recognised as light from the very fact that it radiates brightness. For it cannot happen that light does not give light. In these passages two arguments are offered to prove the eternity of the son: first that the Son is the Word, Wisdom and power, which God could never have been without, i.e. faculties that God could never have been without, i.e. faculties by which the Father is intelligent <11r> and wise and powerful. And this was the view, as I have said, of the Sabellians and the Athanasians. The other argument is that God is light, Christ is his brightness, but light never does not radiate brightness. Neither of these is recorded as being employed to prove the eternity of the son before Athanasius and his predecessor Alexander. The latter argument however Athanasius foists upon both Origen and Dionysius; the former he foists upon Origen and both of the Dionysius's as above – notwithstanding that it is alien to the correct faith. You may see therefore whether Athanasius has not foisted his own views upon the Fathers in any way he pleased.

Next Athanasius represents Dionysius as arguing for the eternity of the father on the ground that without the Son the Father will not always have been. This argument also, common among the Athanasians, is not known to have been employed by anyone before the Athanasians. Likewise on the ground that God is a spirit and the son is the vapour[Editorial Note 55], the vapour, that is, of the power of God[Editorial Note 56]. As if god the spirit could not be without son the vapour. An argument unworthy, I will not say of Dionysius, but of any sensible man.[Editorial Note 57]

Subsequently the following passage is cited[Editorial Note 58] from the same Apology: From another epistle that I wrote to you I show that the charge is false that they bring against me that I denied that Christ is consubstantial with God. For even though I say that I have not found or read this word in the holy scriptures, nevertheless my subsequent arguments, of which they say nothing, do not differ from this belief. For I instanced human generation as an example of obvious kinship; and I observed that parents differ from their children in this alone that they are not their children. But I am unable to produce the Epistle, as I said, because of present circumstances. But if I have willingly told you my words, I would much more gladly have sent the letter itself in my own hand, and I will still send it whenever I have the opportunity. But I know and I remember that I got together several analogies of things that were akin. For I also said there that a plant whether growing from a seed or a root, was different from that from which it sprouted, but was completely akin to it. And that a stream flowing from a spring receives a different form and name, for a spring is not called a stream nor a stream a spring, and both exist, and the spring is as it were the father and the stream is the water from the spring. But like blind men they pretended not to see that I had written these things and other things like them. Thus the Apology. And here there are many things to remark. First, that when <12r> Sabellius asserted the consubstantiality of the son, and Dionysius arguing against him denied that this word is found in the holy scriptures, and taught that the son was independent of the father as the farmer is of the vine and the ship-builder is of the ship ‡ < insertion from f 11v > ‡ and there was nothing in this epistle that could be twisted to justify these men, the claim was made that there was another Letter in which Dionysius on his own initiative, even before he was accused before his namesake, deliberately asserted consubstantiality with many arguments drawn from analogy to consubstantial things. These two things contradict each other. For before he was rebuked by his namesake, he either believed that the son was consubstantial, or he did not believe it. If the former, the epistle to Euphranor is spurious, though this whole argument is drawn from it. But if the latter, the other epistle is spurious – and this would be the correct thing to say. In both cases the Apology will be spurious. < text from f 12r resumes > Secondly, that Dionysius wrote that letter to the other Dionysius, despite which the other lends an ear to the accusers and this man does not blame that man but blames the accusers for maliciously keeping quiet about that letter. These points are hardly consistent with each other. Thirdly, that Athanasius soon after saying in passing that the letter was written to Dionysius of Rome, forgets himself and represents Dionysius of Alexandria writing about the letter in terms that imply that he had not yet sent it to his namesake, even though he had sent it a while before because he had decided to send it so that an opportunity to see it might actually be given to the accusers. For he promises that he will send it as soon as he again has an opportunity to do so in order that the other Dionysius may really understand that this is the truth. He seems to have added this slip of memory as a precaution in case anyone should happen to demand of him an epistle which not even Dionysius had the opportunity to get at the time when he wrote the Apology. Finally the arguments for the consubstantiality of the son taken from the analogy of things that are consubstantial such as a human Father and son, the root and the plant, the spring and the river, inept as they are, are chorused by Athanasius and his allies but nowhere appear in more ancient writers.

Later after many other things like this, Athanasius finally adds the following[Editorial Note 59]. Furthermore, against that crazy notion of Arius in which he says that the λόγον that is in God is one thing, the λόγον of which John says, In the beginning was the word[Editorial Note 60], is another; and that God's own proper wisdom is one thing and the wisdom of which the Apostle says, Christ is the power and wisdom of God,[Editorial Note 61] is another, let Dionysius again come forth to the conflict and refute such a wicked opinion; and see what he writes once more about these opinions in his second volume. In the beginning, he says, was the word, but there was not another Word which brought forth this word. For it was the Word in God. Wisdom is the Lord, but there was not another wisdom which produced this wisdom; it was I, she says, in whom he delighted. Here again Dionysius is represented <13r> as teaching that Christ is the internal reason and wisdom in God the father by which God is called rational and wise; this is what the Greeks called λόγον ἐνδιαθετὸν[Editorial Note 62]. This is the very source of the Sabellian error, and thus it is quite absurd to ascribe it to Dionysius who suppressed Sabellius.

It was not only in these things but in very many others that the Apology approached the Sabellian position pretty closely, for example, when the unity of the Father and the Son is inferred from the unity of the human mind and of the word which is in the heart and which is expressed through the mouth by meaningful sounds; for Athanasius also cites the Apology in this sense. But not to spend too much time on details, listen to the judgement of Rufinus on this issue. In calce Apologiae pro Origene[Editorial Note 63] he writes as follows: Dionysius, Bishop of Alexandria, he says, a very learned champion of the faith of the church, though in most places he defends the unity and equality of the trinity to such a degree that he appears to people of little judgement to have even thought along the lines of Sabellius, yet in the books which he writes against the heresy of Sabellius, such things are found inserted that frequently the Arians try to defend themselves by his authority. That is what he wrote, implying the former about the Apology and the latter about the Epistle to Euphranor and such writings. From this it is clear that most of the Arians in no way acknowledged the Apology, and it is certain that its author had fallen into the Sabellian dogma. And this is what Athanasius did during the reign of Constantius, as will be shown hereafter. But God forbid that we should believe this of Dionysius, a very bitter enemy of Sabellius and a vocal victor over him.

< insertion from f 12v >

Add to this that the formula of the doxology which you heard cited from Basil just now, namely glory to the Father and the Son with the holy Spirit, etc. was not in use before the time of the Nicene council but was brought into the church later with much controversy by the Athanasians, in the reign of Constantius and thereafter. The Formula which was previously in use had been repudiated, as will be shown elsewhere. How therefore was Dionysius able not only to make deliberate use of the Formula when there was no pressure on him to do so, but also to allege a tradition as if he had received the rule for that formula from earlier presbyters{?} Certainly these things do not sound like Dionysius, but some other person who as he was considering how to introduce a new formula for the doxology, was preparing a cover of tradition for it.

< text from f 13r resumes >

One argument {remains} by which the force of the passages Athanasius adduces from the two Dionysius's is blunted. Immediately after Sabellius, Paul of Samosata came to prominence. Like him he taught that the son is consubstantial with the Father. Against him Eighty Bishops in convention decree that the son is not consubstantial. They send their decrees to Dionysius Bishop of Rome and to Maximus, successor of the other Dionysius in Alexandria, and to others throughout the world. The matter is referred <14r> to the Emperor {Aurelian}. He determined that the opinion of the Bishop of Rome and the other Bishops throughout Italy should be sought. They confirm the decrees of the Easterners and pronounce that Paul is to be expelled. The decrees of the Easterners are accepted by all. Symbol (circle surmounted by a cross and containing another cross with the S arm missing) in text < insertion from f 13v > Symbol (circle surmounted by a cross and containing another cross with the S arm missing) in text But now if Dionysius of Rome and the Bishops of Italy gathered together had by their decree sanctioned τὸ ὁμοούσιον against Dionysius of Alexandria and disseminated thei{r} verdict throughout the world, it is impossible that the same bishops gathering together again before ten years had elapsed, should have accepted the decree of the easterners against their own decree so quietly that on this matter not the tiniest controversy, not the smallest dispute, is recorded as having arisen. On the contrary, if τὸ ὁμοούσιον had already been accepted earlier in both regions, both the Egyptians and the Westerners, would with united front have corrected the Easterners no less than Dionysius of Rome in the same cause had already corrected Dionysius of Alexandria not long before, especially as the Emperor had delegated all judgment to the Westerners. Hence incidentally the letter that circulates under the name of Dionysius of Alexandria against Paul of Samosata is definitely shown not to be genuine, since it is affirmed therein that by the holy fathers the Word is called ὁμοούσιον with the Father. If Dionysius had learned that τὸ ὁμοούσιον was proclaimed by the Fathers, it would still be very inept to cite the fathers here against Paul who himself proclaimed τὸ ὁμοούσιον. It follows that it was written with a different intention, namely to fortify consubstantiality with tradition. So too the frequent passages in praise of the word, which have nothing to do with the argument, show that there was some other purpose than to attack Paul. The omission of the distinction between the hypostases of the Word and the Father, which Paul confounded exactly as Sabellius did, argues a writer ignorant of the question. The zeal for the Virgin Mary, who is there called Mother of God and Daughter of life, do not belong to the time of Dionysius. But the capital point is that Dionysius did not believe τὸ ὁμοούσιον[3], and Paul was condemned by the Easterners for believing it, with the consent of the whole world. < text from f 14r resumes >

The passages which Athanasius brings into evidence from the fourth father, Theognostus, seem to be made of the same flour. Here they are. The substance of the son was not extrinsically derived nor produced from things that did not exist, but was begotten from the substance of the Father, exactly as brightness comes from light, as vapour from water. For the vapour is not the same as the water, nor the brightness the same as the sun, but it is not however independent; but you would call it an effluence from the substance of the father, with this proviso that the substance of the father does not suffer division. For just as the sun remains the same and is not diminished by the rays that stream from it, so neither does the substance of the father sustain alteration in begetting the son, the image of himself[Editorial Note 64]. So Theognostus. But there are serious indications that this too is fabricated. Consubstantiality is here once again confirmed by the analogy of consubstantial Light and ray, water and vapour. The expression of Arius ἐξ ουκ ὀντων from things that do not exist is deliberately countered. The expression ἐκ της του πατρος ουσιας from the substance of the Father, which the Nicene council finally came up with, after some difficulty, after long debate (as Athanasius reports above), is inserted, and it is contrasted with the aforesaid expression of Arius, from things that do not exist. So too the expression that the son is {not} <15r> extrinsically derived from some substance, is inserted, but that expression had its origin in the dispute between Alexander and Arius. Arius taught that the son is from things that do not exist since he is neither a part of God nor of any subject matter[Editorial Note 65]; but Alexander and Athanasius taught that he is not from things that do not exist nor extrinsically derived from some substance, but he is from the Father [and without division or alteration of the Father, since naturally Father and Son have been what they are from eternity], and the Nicene council added from the substance of the Father. Besides uniting in one sentiment the three expressions we have previously reported and the two arguments from light and water, the sentiment of Athanasius against Arius is as clearly, fully and succinctly expressed and illustrated as anything could be. It is possible that Theognostus could have been writing in his own idiom against the Belief of Arius, and he might perhaps have chanced to come up with a single expression that was unparalleled in his own time. But that he should put together so many unparalleled expressions and arguments in one sentiment, and deploy them against Arius so appropriately, fully and carefully, using modes of speech introduced into the church at a later time, so that not even Athanasius could say anything more to the point, this has so much weight with me that unless someone produces something similar from some legitimate author published before the Council of Nicaea, I would have very great difficulty in believing that these things are from Theognostus. In addition he defines the son as ἀπο᾽ρρ῾οιαν an effluence from the substance of the father, with the proviso that the substance of the father is not thereby divided, just as a ray is an effluence of the substance of the sun without a division of that substance. This comes close to the position of Sabellius. For Sabellius did not so confound the Father and the Son as if they were distinguished by name alone (as the Athanasians sometimes taught in order to distinguish themselves from Sabellius in this way) but the Substance of God they called Father, and they meant that his properties, which they compared with the reason and word of man, emanate from the substance of God as by an inherent effluence, and for this reason he is his offspring and son. For listen to what Alexander, the successor of Athanasius, <16r> wrote about {Sabellius}. We believe in a Christ, he says[Editorial Note 66], born not from nothing but from the father; not, in the manner of bodies, through cuts ἠ ταῖς ἐκ διαιρέσεων ἀπο᾽ρρ῾οίαις, or by effluences from divisions, as Sabellius and Valentinus think. Sabellius therefore divided the one God, a most simple being into two cohering beings or rather three; of which one is to be substance and the other two faculties emanating from the substance by effluence, and for that reason having their own subsistence but with dependence on the substance. That this is what Sabellius thought is confirmed by the Epistle of Arius to Alexander where he is said to have divided the unity of the Deity. Sabellius was also prone to illustrate his doctrine by the example of the sun and its ray of which the former would be the substance and the latter a certain being flowing from it. Compare this now with what Athanasius cited as from Theognostus, compare both with the things cited from the two Dionysius's and from Origen, and you will perceive that they are all of the same flour. Certainly the expression that the son is an ἀπο᾽ρρ῾οίαν or προβολὴν and so on, sounded wrong to the ancient fathers, as both from this passage of Alexander and from Jerome, Against Rufinus, bk. 2, where Candidus, the champion of the Valentinian heresy, is recorded as having said that the son is a προβολὴν, projection, of the substance of the father, and was rightly rebuked by Jerome for this. So too in the letter of Arius to Eusebius the word προβολὴ is rebuked as sounding wrong < insertion from higher up f 16r > as well as in the other letter to Alexander the word < text from f 16r resumes > The Reader may judge how right Athanasius was to attribute that ἀπο᾽ρρ῾οίαν to Theognostus. Finally the passages that Athanasius cited from Theognostus are proved to be spurious because [4] Photius Cod. 106[Editorial Note 67] testifies that Theognostus taught the same things as Origen and Arius about the Son. And there was no one, so far as I know, who made a different judgement about the writings of Theognostus, today not extant, if they were read in themselves.

< insertion from f 15v > [Editorial Note 68]

For Photius tells us that this Theognostus, an Alexandrian theologian, in the first book of his Hypotyposeis[Editorial Note 69], discussed the Father, and taught that he is the creator of all things; in the second book he taught that the son is of the Father, and shows that he is a created being, and is superior only to beings endowed with reason, and ascribes more such things to the son, along with Origen. In the third book treating of the holy spirit, he does indeed show by arguments that there is a holy spirit; but for the rest here too he talks superficial nonsense, says Photius, in the manner of Origen in his book Periarchôn. In the fourth book about Angels he writes just like Origen; in the fifth and sixth he treats the incarnation in his own way, and here too he talks a lot of nonsense. In the seventh he speaks more reverently about the creation, and especially about the son towards the end. Thus Photius. But these later pieties were not the sort to be cited by Athanasius, for Athanasius's citations, given above, are from the second book of the Hypotyposeis. But as the unfailing agreement of Theognostus with Origen confirms that both drank from the same source, namely the Alexandrian school, so their agreement is substantially confirmed by the passages that Athanasius excerpted from both of them in his treatise on the Gospel text: Whoever shall say a word etc. From <16v> Origen he takes this: God the father, says Origen, permeates all things, and contains all things, animate and inanimate, rational and irrational. But the power of the son extends only to rational beings, and included in this category are catechumens and pagans who do not yet believe. But the holy spirit makes itself known only to those who have been made participants in itself by the gift of Baptism. When therefore the Pagans sin by blasphemy, they sin against the son, since he is in them; but they can obtain pardon when they are made participants in the gift of the gospel. But when those who have been baptised sin, he says that this kind of wickedness reaches to the holy spirit, since it is those who are already living in him who are sinning, and accordingly their fault is unforgivable. This from Origen. And from Theognostus Athanasius adduces this. He who, says Theognostus, has transgressed the first and second limit, deserves a lesser penalty, but he who has contemned the third, is excluded from pardon. And continues Athanasius, he holds that the first and second limits are instruction about the Father and the Son, but the third is initiation by baptism and by participation in the holy spirit; for the Son condescends to those who are not yet initiated, but the holy spirit is concerned only with those who are initiated, and instructs them more fully. Theognostus would seem to differ from Origen as to where he sets his limits in the teaching and instruction of the Christian; but in reality he agrees with him in insisting that this instruction proceeds not from men but from the action of God. For by the third degree of instruction he means the illumination that comes by the inpouring of the holy spirit, and he seeks to prove this (as Athanasius reports) by means of that saying of the Saviour to his Disciples: I still <17v> have much to say to you, but you cannot yet accept it; but when the holy spirit comes, he will teach you all things[Editorial Note 70].

About Origen we should note in passing that he does not mean that all the persons equally permeate all things and that all things are contained[Editorial Note 71]; he teaches this of the father alone, as if after the creation of things was completed the son left all things, except rational beings, to the providence of the father and the laws of nature, and the spirit is concerned only with sanctified persons. So easy was it for someone reading Origen to drift casually into Arian meanings. How many passages then, Athanasius, you would have produced, if you had done that.

< text from f 16r resumes >

On all accounts then Athanasius will be convicted of fraud. He cites four fathers as if they agreed with him, whereas all of them took the opposite view: Theognostus by the testimony of Photius; Dionysius of Alexandria by the testimony of his letter to Euphranor; Dionysius of Rome by the fact that he ratified the acts of the Easterners against Paul in which they repudiated the homousion; and Origen by the agreement of Jerome, Epiphanius, Theophilus and other learned men and later of the whole world. He also cites passages from these four that occur only in the writings of Athanasius. Alexander, <17r> the successor of Athanasius, in his letter to Alexander of Byzantium, thus firmly declares his opinion[Editorial Note 72]. How would it not be impious to say that the Wisdom of God at one time did not exist, since she speaks of herself thus: Wherefore I was with him creating all things; it was I in whom he rejoiced. Or to say that the power of God at one time did not exist, or that his word was at some time maimed, or that the other things by which the son is recognised and the Father is designated were at any time lacking. For he who denies that the brightness of glory exists, at the same time takes away the earliest light of which it is the brightness. And if the image of God was not always, then neither is it clear that he always was whose image he is. Finally by denying that the express image of the substance of God always was, he who is perfectly expressed by him is at the same time also taken away. And in the other epistle: But if the son is the reason and wisdom of the Father, how was there a time when he was not? For it is exactly as if they said that God was at one time irrational and without wisdom. Alexander devised these arguments, Athanasius uses them and similar ones everywhere. Before these men we read of no one who argued like this. Symbol (dot in a circle with a line from the cente to the top) in text

[Symbol (dot in a circle with a line from the cente to the top) in text They use analogies in writing about the son in so far as these occur in the holy scriptures, but no catholic whose writings are still extant has attempted to prove from them the Divinity of the Son as eternal and essentially united with God the father. And yet it was these arguments that Athanasius wants us to believe that Theognostus, the two Dionysius's and Origen used to prove those doctrines, and indeed he wants us to believe that they wrote against Arius so clearly, fully and appropriately, and using expressions and linguistic formulae which began to come into use as a result of the dispute between Alexander and Arius, strongly confirmed by their unanimous consent the views of Athanasius, not only with regard to the consubstantiality of the son but also with regard to the other absurd opinion of Sabellius which holds that the son is a faculty of the Father, <18r> and consequently he wants us to believe that if anyone now wanted to cite Athanasius on behalf of the opinions of Athanasius, he would not find anything clearer and more appropriately said in his own writings. Either therefore find something in the writings of those who lived before Alexander similar to what Athanasius claims were written not by one man only but by four, and also prove by unimpeachable evidence that these four held these views, or admit with me that they did not write these things, but that Athanasius published under their names whatever seemed good to him.

But the epistle de Syn. Nicaen. decretis[Editorial Note 73] in which Athanasius cites these four men, was written about the time of the Council of Ariminum, as I infer from the mention of Asterius and Acacius who lived at about that time, and of Acacius dissimulating through fear of the times. In fact it was written at that very time as a result of that synod's repudiating the Nicene decree about the homousion. For at the beginning of the epistle he {praises} someone for an argument with the Arian Legates, some of whom had been companions of Eusebius, that is, with the ten Legates sent by that Synod to the east. Subsequently however he rebukes those who were about to repudiate the Nicene decree and says that the revocation of the subscription was suspicious and wicked. {N}ot much later the epistle[Editorial Note 74] about the Synods of Ariminum and Seleucia was written. These epistles seem to have been followed by the third one about the views of Dionysius. But

But these epistles of Athanasius, de Synod. Nicaen. decret., de Syn. Arim. et Seleuc and de sentient. Dionys.[Editorial Note 75] were written at the time of the Council of Ariminum and subsequently. But the Apology of Dionysius seems to have been published much earlier. For in the epistle de sentent. Dionysij[Editorial Note 76] Athanasius says that Dionysius did not write with the meaning that Arius imagines. It follows that Arius himself, who died twenty and more years before the council of Ariminum and had begun to engage in controversy at a much earlier date, had used the writings of Dionysius as a shield. And it is probable that Athanasius thought that so powerful a shield was not to be spurned, and he soon formed the scheme of tampering with that Apology, and after many years when it had been disseminated stealthily and without fuss and had been accepted by learned men who did not at all suspect a fraud, and the copies also bore some appearance of antiquity, and traces of fraud, obscured by age, were not readily <19r> apparent to his adversaries, he feels finally secure and brandishes this Apology, and by its authority boldly attacks his adversaries.

In the Epistle de Synod. Arim. et Seleuc.[Editorial Note 77] Athanasius cites the famous Ignatius[Editorial Note 78], bishop of Antioch immediately after the Apostles and a martyr, in these words: the physician is one, fleshly and spiritual, γενητὸς καὶ ἀγένητος, begotten and unbegotten, God in man, true life in death, both from Mary and from God. Athanasius adduces this against his Adversaries who say that the Father alone is ἀγένητον. < insertion from f 17Av > and he interpreted the passage as if Ignatius were saying that the son is ἀγένητον unbegotten, inasmuch as he was not made. < text from f 18r resumes > But Theodoret Dial. 1[Editorial Note 79] reports the same words from the epistle of Ignatius to the Ephesians a little differently in this way: the physician is one, fleshly and spiritual, γενητὸς ἐξ ἀγενήτου, begotten from unbegotten, God in man, true life in death, both from Mary and from God. Whether Athanasius or Theodoret is the more faithful, the fair-minded Reader will have drawn his own conclusion, both from the account we have given of Athanasius above, and [5] from the copies of Ignatius recently published and from Vossius[Editorial Note 80], which agree with Theodoret, and finally from the fact that the older fathers attributed to the Father the privilege that he alone is ἀγενήτος. So much for Athanasius.

Now if Athanasius did all this, if Hilary, Eusebius of Vercellae, Jerome and Ambrose, leaders of the Athanasians in the west, mutilated authors in their translations and altered them arbitrarily, and if Jerome and Rufinus openly professed it was the right thing to do; if in addition Rufinus even published in Greek one of the six books of Eusebius of Caesarea altered to an opposite sense; if the same Rufinus by deliberate fraud went so far as to spread far and wide among the common people the belief that everything found in the books of Origen, the two Clements and the other Fathers that is reminiscent of the Arian creed had been inserted by the fraudulent activity of ill-wishers; if, I say, this is the case, it is inevitable that many documents of the ancients were corrupted in that century. For by the same reasoning that prompted the Latin translators to cut out everything Arian, the Greek editors of books and the copyists also must have cut them out, namely in order not to <20r> infect the hearts of Readers with poison. To eliminate the interpolations of Heretics, to restore authors to their pristine state | purity, to protect the chaste ears of Readers and the orthodox faith, was a splendid pretext and could have prevailed widely.

[Editorial Note 1] N. consistently spells this name 'Ruffinus'.

[Editorial Note 2] Origen, Περὶ Ἀρχῶν translated by Rufinus as De Principiis during and after Lent 398; Jerome translated it in 'the winter months of 398/9' (J.N.D. Kelly, Jerome (London: Duckworth 1975), pp. 230, 237. Ch. xx, 'A fateful translation', pp. 227-42 gives an account of the controversy between the two men on this issue.

[Editorial Note 3] Jerome, 'Epistle to Pammachius and Oceanus', §3. Translation available in The Principal Works of St. Jerome, Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers [= NPNF], Second Series, vol. 6, p. 175 ff. (Letter 84). Online in Christian Classics Ethereal Library.

[Editorial Note 4] Cf. Isaiah 6.2-3: 'Above it stood the seraphim: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.'

[Editorial Note 5] Jerome, 'Epistle to Pammachius and Oceanus', §7.

[1] Q.

[Editorial Note 6] [here spelt 'edidit'].

[Editorial Note 7] 'in calce Apologiae pro Origene'. A translation of this appears as Rufinus, 'Epilogue to Pamphilus the Martyr's Apology for Origen; otherwise the Book Concerning the Adulteration of the Works of Origen', in Theodoret, Jerome, Gennadius, Rufinus: Historical Writings, Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Second Series, vol. 3, pp. 421-27; our passage is on pp. 422-23. Latin text under the title 'De adulteratione librorum Origenis' §3, in Tyranii Rufini Opera, ed. M. Simonetti. Corpus Christianorum, Series Latina XX (Turnholt: Brepols 1961). Our passage is quoted by Jerome, Against Rufinus, 2.17.

[Editorial Note 8] Photius, Bibliotheca [Library], codex 112 [= 90A]. Photius, Bibliothèque, ed. R. Henry (Paris: Les belles lettres 1960), t. 2, p. 83.

[Editorial Note 9] Jerome, Apology against Rufinus, in Theodoret, Jerome, Gennadius, Rufinus: Historical Writings, N&P-NF, NPNF, vol. 3, p. 482 ff. S. Hieronymi Presbyteri Opera, Pars III Opera polemica I, Contra Rufinum, ed. P. Lardet. Corpus Christianorum, Series Latina LXXIX (Turnholt: Brepols 1982).

[Editorial Note 10] 'in calce Apologiae'.

[Editorial Note 11] Cf. Rufinus, 'Epilogue to Pamphilus the Martyr's Apology for Origen; otherwise the Book Concerning the Adulteration of the Works of Origen', in Theodoret, Jerome, Gennadius, Rufinus: Historical Writings, N&P-NF, vol. 3, p. 423.

[Editorial Note 12] the sentence breaks off here

[Editorial Note 13] For 'conciditur' the text of Jerome has 'conceditur': Jerome, Contra Rufinum, 2.17. S. Hieronymi Presbyteri Opera, Pars III Opera polemica I, Contra Rufinum, ed. P. Lardet. Corpus Christianorum, Series Latina LXXIX (Turnholt: Brepols 1982)

[Editorial Note 14] Here is the text of this disjointed passage from the edition of Lardet: 'Hoc genere et iste tuus liber tuus non erit, sed forsitan meus, et meus liber quo tibi accusatus respondeo, si in illo aliquid reprehenderis, non erit meus, sed tuus a quo reprehenditur. … Et quomodo, inquies, in libris eorum vitiosa nonnulla sunt? Si me causas vitiorum nescire respondero, non statim illos haereticos judicabo. … Si tibi diceretur: Quos habet Origenes in haeresi socios? recte ista proferres. The final sentence is also quoted below in f 9r.

[Editorial Note 15] incomplete word in the MS

[Editorial Note 16] De Synodi Nicaenae decretis, 'On the Decrees of the Nicene Council'. Translation in Athanasius, Select Works and Letters, NPNF, vol. 4, pp. 149 ff. The accounts of Theognostus, the two Dionysii and Origen are in ch. 6, §§ 25-27.

[Editorial Note 17] 'On the Decrees of the Nicene Council', ch. 6, §27.

[Editorial Note 18] 'tuto' translates ἀδεῶς of Athanasius, De Nicaenae Synodi decretis, §27 in J.-P. Migne, Patrologia Graeca, vol. 25b, Athanasius, col. 465B.

[Editorial Note 19] 'On the Decrees of the Nicene Council', ch. 6, §27.

[Editorial Note 20] This appears to be Defence of Origen by Pamphilus and Eusebius.

[Editorial Note 21] Dionysius Petavius = Denis Pétau (1583-1652). Newton possessed four of his works on chronology and theology, including Opus de theologicis dogmatibus (Antwerp 1700). Harrison 1285.

[Editorial Note 22] 'there was [a time] when the son was not'.

[Editorial Note 23] Cf. Jerome, Letter 84, To Pammachius and Oceanus, 3.

[Editorial Note 24] Dionysius, Bishop of Rome and Dionysius, Bishop of Alexandria.

[Editorial Note 25] Athanasius, On the Decrees of the Nicene Council, ch. 6, §26. Athanasius, Select Works and Letters, NPNF, vol. 4, pp. 167-68.

[Editorial Note 26] 'and finally' restored from Athanasius, De Nicaenae Synodi decretis, §26 (ἤδη καὶ, ac denique) in J.-P. Migne, Patrologia Graeca, vol. 25b, Athanasius, col. 463A.

[Editorial Note 27] Ch. 6, §26.

[Editorial Note 28] Or 'creature'.

[Editorial Note 29] Literally 'there was when he was not'.

[Editorial Note 30] Ch. 6, §26.

[Editorial Note 31] Cf. 1 Corinthians 1.24.

[Editorial Note 32] Cf. Proverbs 8.22.

[Editorial Note 33] 'he created'.

[Editorial Note 34] 'he set him over his works'.

[Editorial Note 35] 'he possessed'.

[Editorial Note 36] Newton cites Dionysius of Alexandria from Athanasius' quotations in De sententia Dionysii and De Synodi Nicaenae decretis. Most of the extant remains of Dionysius of Alexandria are available in Greek in C.L. Feltoe, ed. The Letters and Other Remains of Dionysius of Alexandria (Cambridge 1904).

[Editorial Note 37] Athanasius, 'De sententia Dionysii', §4.

[Editorial Note 38] A translation of 'De sententia Dionysij' is available in Athanasius, Select Works and Letters, NPNF, vol. 4, pp. 173-187 as 'On the Opinion of Dionysius'.

[Editorial Note 39] Perhaps cf. Acts 8.26-39 or Jeremiah 13.23.

[Editorial Note 40] 'opus'.

[Editorial Note 41] Athanasius, 'On the Councils of Ariminum and Seleucia', available in translation in Athanasius, Select Works and Letters, NPNF, vol. 4, p. 448 ff. The text is available in Historical Writings of St. Athanasius, ed. William Bright (Oxford 1881), which is online (eBook).

[Editorial Note 42] Dionysius of Rome, Against the Sabellians. A translation of this is online on the website Fathers of the Church – Catholic Culture.

[Editorial Note 43] 'Apologia' here means 'Defence' (as in Plato's Apology of Socrates) but I have retained the calque of the Latin 'Apologia' (Greek Ἀπολογία) as the title by which various works of this sort are still often known. Dionysius's work is referred to as the Refutation and Defence of Dionysius of Alexandria in Chadwick, Church in Ancient Society, 164. Athanasius cites parts of it, inaccurately and fraudulently in N's view, in his De sententia Dionysii.

[Editorial Note 44] Cf. f 7r for this name. But N. writes 'Euphanorem' here

[Editorial Note 45] the argument seems to break off here

[Editorial Note 46] Basil, 'Ad Amphilochium de spiritu sancto', §72. Basil, Letters and Select Works, NPNF, Second Series, vol. 8, p. 45. J-P. Migne, Patrologia Graeca, vol. 32, Basil the Great, col. 201B.

[Editorial Note 47] Refutation and Apology or Refutation and Defence.

[Editorial Note 48] Refutation and Apology or Refutation and Defence.

[2] ✝ Eusebius, History, bk. 7, chs. 24, 26

[Editorial Note 49] 'On Nature', 'On Temptations', 'On the Promises in Ecclesiastes'.

[Editorial Note 50] Gennadius, On Church Doctrine.

[Editorial Note 51] Jerome, Against Rufinus, bk. 2. available in translation in Theodoret, Jerome, Gennadius, Rufinus: Historical Writings, Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, vol. 3.

[Editorial Note 52] Basil, Letter IX 'To Maximus the Philosopher', in Basil: Letters and Select Works, NPNF, vol. 8, p. 122 f.; Greek and English in Saint Basil, The Letters, ed. and trans. R.J. Deferrari (London and Cambridge, Mass. 1961), vol. 1, p. 92 ff. (Loeb Classical Library).

[Editorial Note 53] Athanasius, 'On the opinion of Dionysius', 15 in Athanasius, Select Works and Letters, NPNF, vol. 4, p. 182.

[Editorial Note 54] ibid.

[Editorial Note 55] 'vapor'; this might be translated 'breath'.

[Editorial Note 56] Perhaps cf. Wisdom of Solomon, 7.25: 'For she [wisdom] is the breath of the power of God, and a pure influence flowing from the glory of the Almighty', or in the Vulgate: '[Sapientia] vapor est enim virtutis Dei, Et emanatio quaedam est claritatis omnipotentis Dei sincera'.

[Editorial Note 57] These arguments are found in 'On the Opinion of Dionysius', ch. 15.

[Editorial Note 58] 'On the Opinion of Dionysius', 18. Athanasius also cites this passage in 'On the Decrees of the Nicene Council', ch. 6, §25.

[Editorial Note 59] 'On the Opinion of Dionysius', 25.

[Editorial Note 60] John 1.1.

[Editorial Note 61] Cf. 1 Corinthians 1.24: 'Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God'.

[Editorial Note 62] 'internal' or 'immanent reason' (G.W.H. Lampe, A Patristic Greek Lexicon [Oxford: Clarendon Press 1961]).

[Editorial Note 63] 'Epilogue of the Apology for Origen', called 'Rufinus's Epilogue to Pamphilus the Martyr's Apology for Origen; otherwise the Book Concerning the Adulteration of the Works of Origen' in Theodoret, Jerome, Gennadius, Rufinus: Historical Writings, Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, vol. 3, p. 423. Latin text under the title 'De adulteratione librorum Origenis' §5, in Tyranii Rufini Opera, ed. M. Simonetti. Corpus Christianorum, Series Latina XX (Turnholt: Brepols 1961).

[3] ἐκ της του πατρὸς οὐσίας

[Editorial Note 64] Athanasius, 'On the Decrees of the Nicene Council', ch. 6, §25.

[Editorial Note 65] 'subiecta materia'; cf. 'subjectum' above at f 9r, which translates Basil's τὸ ὑποκειμένον, which might be translated 'substance'.

[Editorial Note 66] Cf. Alexander of Alexandria, 'Letter to Alexander of Constantinople', §C46; there is a translation of the letter online on the website 'Fourth Century Christianity'. The letter is quoted in Theodoret, Church History 1.4.

[4] Q.

[Editorial Note 67] Photius, Bibliotheca [Library], codex 106 [= 86B]. Photius, Bibliothèque, ed. R. Henry (Paris: Les belles lettres 1960), t. 2.

[Editorial Note 68] The placement of the following inserted passage is conjectural: no indication is given of where it should belong.

[Editorial Note 69] Outlines. The few surviving fragments of this work are translated in Fathers of the Third Century: Gregory Thaumaturgus, etc., Ante-Nicene Fathers, vol. 3, p. 155ff.

[Editorial Note 70] Cf. John 16: 12-13.

[Editorial Note 71] Presumably 'contained in them'.

[Editorial Note 72] Cf. 'Alexander's Letter to Alexander of Constantinople', 27-28. See fn.114.

[Editorial Note 73] 'On the Decrees of the Nicene Council'.

[Editorial Note 74] I have translated as if the text were: 'Non multo post scripta est epistola' etc.

[Editorial Note 75] 'On the Decrees of the Nicene Council', 'On the Councils of Ariminum and Seleucia' and 'On the Opinion of Dionysius'.

[Editorial Note 76] 'On the Opinion of Dionysius'.

[Editorial Note 77] 'On the Synods of Ariminum and Seleucia'.

[Editorial Note 78] A version of this passage appears in Ignatius, Letter to the Ephesians, ch. 7 on the website 'Catholic Culture'.

[Editorial Note 79] Theodoret, 'Dialogue 1, The Immutable' in Theodoret, Jerome, Gennadius, Rufinus: Historical Writings, Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Second Series, vol. 3, p. 176.

[5] Qab.

[Editorial Note 80] Possibly in SS. patrum qui temporibus apostolicis floruerunt: Barnabae … Ignatii … opera …, ed. J-B. Cotelerius … Isaac Vossius (Antwerp 1700). Harrison 68.

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