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November 5th, 2011
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Irenaeus and his "God".
Irenaeus and his “God”
 
By Dmitry A. Alexeyev, S.-Petersburg.


Recently I received from the person who is not close to me, but whom I respect very much, a long letter in which, beside of other things, were the following words:
 
“As a matter of fact, approximately from the 80s of the twentieth century, historical scholars receives more and more testimonies that the Cathars (like Bogomils too) are not the results of Gnosticism in history, but this is tradition of gnostically painted orthodoxy that has rejected both the Gnostic systems and orthodox dogmas. This is something special one. <…> This tradition follows from Origenes (obviously) and Christian monk’s mysticism (especially from the Egyptian monks – followers of Origenes). But it is not finishing there and not continuing only in the Islamic mysticism. It has its rebirth at one time both in Eastern and Western Europe”.
 
I am ready to suppose joyously that this man who honoured by me wrote all this without thinking, or he himself did not understand what he wrote. At least, any speculations about “gnostically painted orthodoxy” are equal to the speculations about “Christianly painted Satanism”. And what’s why:

Only tradition based on the teaching taught by Jesus Nazorean to His disciples (Apostles) during His earthly life and preserved in the Christian scriptures can be called as truly Christian tradition. We think that nobody from persons who approves historical character of Jesus Nazorean Himself will not to discuss with such evident fact. Analogically, an obvious fact: the tradition that calls himself as “Christian” one, but based on any other teachings, can, indeed, to pretend only on the title “pseudo-Christian”, or “pseudo-Apostolic” one. And the word “pseudo-Apostles” is the key for understanding.   

In his Prologue to the Epistle of the Apostle Paul to Galatians, Marcion of Sinop indicates straight that Galatians, who received from the Apostle a word of truth, were, then, tempted by the false apostles (a falsis apostolis) and brought to the Law and circumcision (in legem et circumcisionem). In the Prologue to the Apostle’s Epistle to Romans, he wrote more exactly that deceived ones were brought to the Law and the prophets (in legem et prophetas), and it has been done under the name of our Lord, Jesus Christ (sub nomine domini nostri Jesu Christi). So, this speech is not about contradistinction of the Christian tradition to the Judaic one (the last, indeed, has this “Law and circumcision”), but about opposition between the two Christian traditions – true and false ones, i.e. apostolic and “falsely apostolic”. And if the authentic apostolic tradition must to have its primary source in the teaching taught by Jesus Nazorean to His disciples and arisen through Jesus to His heavenly Father, then the false tradition must to arise into absolutely another source.
 
However, it is probably that heresiarch Marcion has introduced these “false apostles” deliberately, with polemic objectives to justify his own heretical teaching, contradistinguishing the Law of Moses to the Gospel of Christ? Let’s consider the implacable and severe adversary of not Marcion only, but any “heretics” and “Gnostics”, Lion’s bishop Irenaeus. And what we see? It is about the preacher from Sinop, “a pilot from Pontus Euxine”, Irenaeus wrote the following words:
 
“But since this man is the only one who has dared openly to mutilate the Scriptures, and unblushingly above all others to inveigh against God, I purpose specially to refute him, convicting him out of his own writings; and, with the help of God, I shall overthrow him out of those discourses of the Lord and the apostles, which are of authority with him, and of which he makes use. At present, however, I have simply been led to mention him, that thou mightest know that all those who in any way corrupt the truth, and injuriously affect the preaching of the Church, are the disciples and successors of Simon Magus of Samaria. Although they do not confess the name of their master, in order all the more to seduce others, yet they do teach his doctrines. They set forth, indeed, the name of Christ Jesus as a sort of lure, but in various ways they introduce the impieties of Simon; and thus they destroy multitudes, wickedly disseminating their own doctrines by the use of a good name, and, through means of its sweetness and beauty, extending to their hearers the bitter and malignant poison of the serpent, the great author of apostasy” (Irenaeus, Adversus omnium haereses, I.27.4).

We see that ‘saint’ from Lion do not deny an existence of the two traditions – truly and falsely Christian ones. And even more of that, he indicates straight on the source of the second (false) tradition: according to his opinion, it is a Samaritan inhabitant Simon Magus, whose “wickedness” is “the bitter and malignant poison of the serpent, the great author of apostasy”, brought under “the name of Christ Jesus as a sort of lure”. Let’s take a special attention on the words “(under) the name of Christ Jesus as a sort of lure”. Yes, this is sub nomine domini nostri Jesu Christi! However, these words were wrote ab. 180, i.e. after 30 years after the death of the Sinop’s preacher. In his Adversus omnium haereses III.23.3, Irenaeus identifies straight the serpent with the devil, and he wrote, beside of other words, in the introduction to the Fourth book of his work:
 
“For as the serpent beguiled Eve, by promising her what he had not himself, so also do these men, by pretending [to possess] superior knowledge, and [to be acquainted with] ineffable mysteries <...>, plunge those that believe them into death, rendering them apostates from Him who made them. And at that time, indeed, the apostate angel, having effected the disobedience of mankind by means of the serpent, imagined that he escaped the notice of the Lord; wherefore God assigned him the form and name [of a serpent].”
 
So, Irenaeus recognizes straight an existence of the two traditions, contradistinguishing “apostolic tradition, preserved by the Church” that goes from Jesus (and, through Himself, from God), according to the heretical stories, distributed by “the disciples and successors of Simon Magus of Samaria”, who are “although… do not confess the name of their master, in order all the more to seduce others, yet they do teach his doctrines”, “the bitter and malignant poison of the serpent, the great author of apostasy”, i.e., according to the Irenaeus thought, from the devil. What is the difference, according to Irenaeus, between the two Christian traditions – the true one, arisen from God and Jesus, and the false one, arisen from the Samaritan sorcerer and devil?
 
Farther, what are the features of the devil’s teaching, brought “(under) the name of Christ Jesus as a sort of lure”? Shepherd from Lion writes about this subject wordy and solemnly, with the style’s beauties proper to him.  These beauties were, unfortunately, transmitted in not fully adequate manner in the widely distributed Russian translation done by the archpriest Peter Preobrazhensky. In part, summarizing his own tale about heretical teachings in the first book of Adversus omnium haereses and beginning to refute them, Irenaeus writes that he himself “also related how they think and teach that creation at large was formed after the image of their invisible Pleroma, and what they hold respecting the Demiurge, declaring at the same time the doctrine of Simon Magus of Samaria, their progenitor, and of all those who succeeded him. I mentioned, too, the multitude of those Gnostics who are sprung from him, and noticed the points of difference between them, their several doctrines, and the order of their succession, while I set forth all those heresies which have been originated by them. I showed, moreover, that all these heretics, taking their rise from Simon, have introduced impious and irreligious doctrines into this life; and I explained the nature of their ‘redemption’, and their method of initiating those who are rendered ‘perfect’, along with their invocations and their mysteries. I proved also that there is one God, the Creator, and that He is not the fruit of any defect, nor is there anything either above Him, or after Him”.

Later, in the beginning of the ninth chapter of the second book of his fundamental and, more of that, the main work for catholic orthodoxy, titled as “There is but one Creator of the world, God the Father: this the constant belief of the Church”, Irenaeus wrote the following:
 
“That God is the Creator of the world is accepted even by those very persons who in many ways speak against Him, and yet acknowledge Him, styling Him the Creator, and an angel, not to mention that all the Scriptures call out [to the same effect], and the Lord teaches us of this Father who is in heaven, and no other, as I shall show in the sequel of this work. For the present, however, that proof which is derived from those who allege doctrines opposite to ours, is of itself sufficient, – all men, in fact, consenting to this truth: the ancients on their part preserving with special care, from the tradition of the first-formed man, this persuasion, while they celebrate the praises of one God, the Maker of heaven and earth; others, again, after them, being reminded of this fact by the prophets of God, while the very heathen learned it from creation itself. For even creation reveals Him who formed it, and the very work made suggests Him who made it, and the world manifests Him who ordered it. The Universal Church, moreover, through the whole world, has received this tradition from the apostles.”
 
Let’s remember: this is the “tradition of the apostles” in the understanding of Irenaeus!

And this is his own retelling of another and the opposite tradition: “This God, then, being acknowledged, as I have said, and receiving testimony from all to the fact of His existence, that Father whom they conjure into existence is beyond doubt untenable, and has no witnesses [to his existence]. Simon Magus was the first who said that he himself was God over all, and that the world was formed by his angels. Then those who succeeded him, as I have shown in the first book, by their several opinions, still further depraved [his teaching] through their impious and irreligious doctrines against the Creator. These [heretics now referred to], being the disciples of those mentioned, render such as assent to them worse than the heathen. For the former ‘serve the creature rather than the Creator’, and ‘those which are not gods’, notwithstanding that they ascribe the first place in Deity to that God who was the Maker of this universe. But the latter maintain that He, [i.e., the Creator of this world], is the fruit of a defect, and describe Him as being of an animal nature, and as not knowing that Power which is above Him, while He also exclaims, ‘I am God, and besides Me there is no other God’.  Affirming that He lies, they are themselves liars, attributing all sorts of wickedness to Him; and conceiving of one who is not above this Being as really having an existence, they are thus convicted by their own views of blasphemy against that God who really exists, while they conjure into existence a god who has no existence, to their own condemnation. And thus those who declare themselves ‘perfect’, and as being possessed of the knowledge of all things, are found to be worse than the heathen, and
to entertain more blasphemous opinions even against their own Creator.”
 
In the Intro to his fourth book, he continues: “But now, since the last times are [come upon us], evil is spread abroad among men, which not only renders them apostates, but by many machinations does [the devil] raise up blasphemers against the Creator, namely, by means of all the heretics already mentioned. For all these, although they issue forth from diverse regions, and promulgate different [opinions], do nevertheless concur in the same blasphemous design, wounding [men] unto death, by teaching blasphemy against God our Maker and Supporter, and derogating from the salvation of man. Now man is a mixed organization of soul and flesh, who was formed after the likeness of God, and moulded by His hands, that is, by the Son and Holy Spirit, to whom also He said, ‘Let Us make man’. This, then, is the aim of him who envies our life, to render men disbelievers in their own salvation, and blasphemous against God the Creator. For whatsoever all the heretics may have advanced with the utmost solemnity, they come to this at last, that they blaspheme the Creator, and disallow the salvation of God’s workmanship, which the flesh truly is; on behalf of which I have proved, in a variety of ways, that the Son of God accomplished the whole dispensation [of mercy], and have shown that there is none other called God by the Scriptures except the Father of all, and the Son, and those who possess the adoption.”

If we believe to Irenaeus, the followers of the true apostolic tradition thinks that God is the creator of our world and our flesh, for which, as he has “proved, in a variety of ways… the Son of God accomplished the whole dispensation”, while heretics – the followers of Simon Magus – “blaspheme the Creator, and disallow the salvation” of this flesh. Additionally, being a “fiction” of these heretics, he “is beyond doubt untenable, and has no witnesses…” Why we can not to believe Irenaeus? Even in our times, there are thousands and even millions of people who continue to believe him and his ideological followers. However, on the other hand, why we ought to join ourselves with these millions thoughtlessly, especially after we shall compare the words from prologues of the Epistles to Galatians and Romans about Christians “under the name of our Lord Christ Jesus led to the Law and prophets” with the “apostolic” Rule of faith (regula fidei), pathetically proclaimed by Irenaeus:
 
“[Church believes] in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are in them; and in one Christ Jesus, the Son of God, who became incarnate for our salvation; and in the Holy Spirit, who proclaimed through the prophets the dispensations of God, and the advents, and the birth from a virgin, and the passion, and the resurrection from the dead, and the ascension into heaven in the flesh of the beloved Christ Jesus, our Lord, and His [future] manifestation from heaven in the glory He Himself uniting man through Himself to God, and having suffered under Pontius Pilate, and rising again, and having been received up in splendour, shall come in glory, the Saviour of those who are saved, and the Judge of those who are judged, and sending into eternal fire those who transform the truth, and despise His Father and His advent. Those who, in the absence of written documents, have believed this faith, are barbarians, so far as regards our language; but as regards doctrine, manner, and tenor of life, they are, because of faith, very wise indeed; and they do please God, ordering their conversation in all righteousness, chastity, and wisdom. If any one were to preach to these men the inventions of the heretics, speaking to them in their own language, they would at once stop their ears, and flee as far off as possible, not enduring even to listen to the blasphemous address. Thus, by means of that ancient tradition of the apostles, they do not suffer their mind to conceive anything of the [doctrines suggested by the] portentous language of these teachers, among whom neither Church nor doctrine has ever been established.” (Adversus omnium haereses, I.10.1 and III.4.2). As we can see, the prophets are present; and, at the same time, here we see a mention of “the new Law”, allegedly preached by Christ and implying a presence of the old Law, or, better to say, “dilapidated” Law. Maybe, Marcion gave the nickname ‘false apostles’ namely to the predecessors of Irenaeus?
 
Let’s put also another question: if, for Irenaeus, a serpent in the Eden Garden was a devil, who, then, was a devil for his adversaries? What blaspheme has been meant by the Lion’s ‘saint’ then he repeated persistently and time after time that heretics are blaspheming the creator of flesh? Why, after he wrote in multitude of pages his discourses about “Father and Son”, he stated suddenly that namely heretics (with Simon Magus as their head, who, additionally, was “the first who said that he himself was God over all, and that the world was formed by his angels”) have invented the God-Father? Of course, it is not easy to find out a sense in such cobwebs, but we think that the words about heretics could not to be a senselessness – that heretics ascribes to God “all sorts of wickedness… and conceiving of one who is not above this Being as really having an existence, they are thus convicted by their own views of blasphemy against that God who really exists, while they conjure into existence a god who has no existence, to their own condemnation” (Adversus omnium haereses, II.9.2).

However, the key is simple: adversaries of Irenaeus worshipped Another God, Who Is alien to created material world and Who has revealed firstly in His Son, Jesus Christ, while the deity that was the God-Creator for Lion’s shepherd, almighty Lord of Hosts and the Almighty Father was the devil (and, in the best case, a pitiful and waning Demiurge, “the fruit of a defect… of an animal nature” (II.9.2), descrbed by Irenaeus himself with internal tremor, stupid and looser protoarchon (προταρχων) Jaldabaoth or simply “arcon of this world”) according to “heretics” whom Irenaeus so hated. The two traditions, which existence was recognized both by Marcion from Sinop and his wrathful accuser Irenaeus from Lion, are totally irreconcilable and incompatible. They trust in mutually exclusive ideas of God, and even more: for Irenaeus, God, Who Is worshipped by his adversaries, is not existing (“There is no any God”) – it is totally in spirit of Emelian Yaroslavsky1, while for the Christians, who were the subject of the attacks from the side of Irenaeus, this “God” of Irenaeus is not the God, and, perhaps, even is not a god at all.
 
We have already discussed this topic many times, but “the good thought is ought to be repeated and repeated once more”: the “Gnostic” understanding of salvation’s history is based on the statement that the true God – for the first time in history! – has revealed Himself to the humankind in His Son, Jesus Christ, Who has descended in the material world and revealed for people a knowledge about God-Father as well as the way to salvation.

After the time when the Saviour has been crucified and got a victory, by this case, over the powers and authorities of the material world, He has come back to His Father, and Father sent the Spirit-Comforter, the Spirit of Truth, who is teaching the people about every truth.
 
The main adversary of the Saviour in this struggle was the ruler of the material world, «the lord of this world” and “the god of this century”. A number of fragments from the ancient texts allow us to state that he was identified, at one time, with the deity of the Old Testament, with Satan, i.e. with hypostatized Sin (η Αμαρτια). On the contrary, the understanding of that history by Irenaeus and his ideological followers is based on the three understood and clear identifications: God-Father was identified with the deity of the Old Testament, creator and lord of the material world, who revealed himself both in his revelation and in the created world; God-Son, i.e. the Saviour, Jesus Christ, was identified with Messiah, or, perhaps, with false messiah of that deity, because the only historic personage of that epoch, who was able to pretend reasonably on the Messiah's role, was militant, but not too successful infantry commander Simon Bar-Kohba; and, at least, the Holy Spirit was identified with “the spirit of the Lord”, mentioned many times in the Old Testament. As for crucifixion of this Messiah (or, perhaps, false messiah?), it has become the Eden Garden’s redeeming sacrifice for the Adam's sin, and that sacrifice has been given by the creator of our world to himself… Or something like that… We suppose that, in this case, we ought to show an elementary tolerance and to do not put captious questions to followers of the memorable shepherd from Lion: indeed, they can not to give any comprehensible answer on such questions during already the last 1.800 years.
 
It is better to ask: who, however, is the devil? Who was established on the devil’s role? Do not worry, inquiring mind of ‘saint’ Irenaeus has found, at one time, two answers on this questions amongst the Old Testament’s heroes: by identifying a “devil” with the serpent from the Eden Garden on the one hand, and, on the second hand, with Satan. And the followers of Irenaeus, thirdly, have added to this picture Dennice (Lucifer) from Isaiah 14:12, and they did not analyze absolutely the sense of the word “Lucifer” in another books of the Latin Bible. Let’s note that Irenaeus reasonably avoids the attempts to interpret the expression “lord of this world”, repeated thrice in the Gospel of John, and let’s, then, interpret the Apostle Paul’s expression “god of this century”. Indeed, this expression remains, until the present day, an unsurpassed exegetical masterwork that predetermined a development of the orthodox exegesis for centuries to come. And, as we think, our glad duty is to cite here this fragment completely:
 
“As to their affirming that Paul said plainly in the Second [Epistle] to the Corinthians, ‘In whom the god of this century hath blinded the minds of them that believe not’,  and maintaining that there is indeed one god of this century, but another who is beyond all principality, and beginning, and power, we are not to blame if they, who give out that they do themselves know mysteries beyond God, know not how to read Paul. For if any one read the passage thus –according to Paul’s custom, as I show elsewhere, and by many examples, that he uses transposition of words – ‘In whom God’, then pointing it off, and making a slight interval, and at the same time read also the rest [of the sentence] in one [clause], ‘hath blinded the minds of them of this world that believe not’, he shall find out the true [sense]; that it is contained in the expression, ‘God hath blinded the minds of the unbelievers of this century’. And this is shown by means of the little interval [between the clause]. For Paul does not say, ‘the God of this century’, as if recognizing any other beyond Him; but he confessed God as indeed God. And he says, ‘the unbelievers of this century’, because they shall not inherit the future age of incorruption. I shall show from Paul himself, how it is that God has blinded the minds of them that believe not, in the course of this work, that we may not just at present distract our mind from the matter in hand, [by wandering] at large.” (Adversus omnium haereses, III.7.1)2.

Well, now we are forced to come back to the question which has been put in the very beginning of this article: what of the two opposing traditions is authentic, i.e. the apostolic one, and what of such traditions is created by its adversaries – “false apostles”, or even by “antichrists?” Whom we ought to believe: to ‘saint’ Irenaeus or to heresiarch Marcion?

Of course, we may cite the works of modern researchers, for example, The Gnostic Gospels by Elaine H. Pagels and The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture by Bart D. Ehrmann, as well as Synopsis of the four gospels, or the Nestle-Aland critical edition… But we do not see a large sense in it, a fortiori that, in such situations, our honoured opponents, the adepts of  “catholic orthodoxy”,  are used to reject any our argument without consideration, being, sometimes, like the deaf asp from the Psalm LVII who shuts up his ears and do not hear a voice of  exorcist who is the most skillful in spells, sometimes like more prosaic reptile from the Russian proverb, who, in simplicity of his soul, identifies any moisture as “a god’s dew”. The right answer is, however, easier and so evident that we are really surprised that this answer has not been seen before us.

We have no any need to cite aphorisms given by Marcion and Valentinus as a wonder, preserved by heresiologists; also we have no need to consider the Nag Hammadi scriptures. A scheme, known even from the canonical Gospels, is simple and evident: “Then cried Jesus in the temple as he taught, saying, Ye both know me, and ye know whence I am: and I am not come of myself, but he that sent me is true, whom ye know not. But I know him: for I am from him, and he hath sent me” (John 7:28-29). And it has been happened in the temple, dedicated either to Poseidon or to Artemis, but namely to the creator – and the ruler – of the material world. It is evident that the speech is not about him. It is so evident that the people, who gathered in the temple, “sought to take him: but no man laid hands on him, because his hour not yet come” (John 7:30). The same fact was recognized also by Irenaeus, although he has not cited John, but Matthew:
 
“But they adduce the following passage as the highest testimony, and, as it were, the very
crown of their system: – “I thank Thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because Thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them to babes. Even so, my Father; for so it seemed good in Thy sight. All things have been delivered to Me by My Father; and no one knoweth the Father but the Son, or the Son but the Father, and he to whom the Son will reveal Him.” (Matt. 11:25–27.) In these words they affirm that He clearly showed that the Father of truth, conjured into existence by them, was known to no one before His advent. And they desire to construe the passage as if teaching that the Maker and Framer [of the world] was always known by all, while the Lord spoke these words concerning the Father unknown to all, whom they now proclaim.” (Adversus omnium haereses, I.20.3).
 
In the light of the temptation’s scenes in the desert described by Matthew and Luke, as well as in the light of polemics with those who have believed in Him in John’s verse 8:44 that is finishing by an ontological fragment “Ye are of [father] the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and adobe not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it”, we have no any doubts: the Christians worship the Heavenly Father Who has revealed Himself in Christ; while the “false apostles” who are guiding those who believed them have confessed the ruler of this world and the creator of flesh “under the name of our Lord Jesus Christ”. I.e. they guides their believers to the devil whom they considers as God, as well as they considers the Saviour as his, i.e. devil’s, son.
 
Irenaeus who was exposed to the ridicule many times and who was inspired by idea, simple as a mooing – “you yourselves are worshipping the devil, damned heretics!” – did not think of (not like, meanwhile, his numerous followers and epigones) to turn out all Christian scheme and to determine God Who has been revealed by Jesus as the devil (Lucifer, etc.)

He, instead of this, composes absurd and self-contradictory fairy tale about “fictional God”, “serpent in the Eden Garden”, and Simon Magus. In fact, borrowing “heretical” material (although, in what degree we could to consider the Gospel of John as heretical?), Irenaeus even did not understand it, and that’s why the words of his heritage’s issuer A. Kukalev3 sounds especially mockingly: “Together with Meliton Sardinian, Rodon, and Maltiades, Irenaeus is mentioned as a member of the philosophers group from the Asia Minor, careful keepers of the Fourth Gospel’s author tradition”, i.e. the tradition with which Irenaeus himself argued so wrathfully, and which he called as “heretical one” in a straight manner.
 
Well, but what about “antichrist” Simon Samaritan? – asks the thoughtful reader. – For has he himself existed, or no? Of course, he has existed, – so we answer with no any doubts. And, indeed, «appeared among the Jews as the Son» of God (Adversus omnium haereses, I.23.1). Indeed, he walked on dusty Palestinian roads with the woman whom orthodox tradition considers as repented whore, although her name was absolutely not “Helena”. He has, indeed, preached and made wonders; he gathered huge mobs of people and once, if we believe to Luke-evangelist, he has flied in the sky (Luke 24:51). We may say yes to Irenaeus even when he wrote that Simon “had come to amend matters, and had descended, transfigured and assimilated to powers and principalities and angels, so that he might appear among men to be a man, while yet he was not a man; and that thus he was thought to have suffered in Judæa, when he had not suffered” (I.23.3) – for how God could to suffer? In other things, this fantastic writer from Lion has used sources are not credible. Probably, the same sources used later by the rabbis who have composed “Sepher Toldot Ishu”, but they are, at least, did not mix up the names and called Jesus Nazorean as “Ishu”, but not as “Shimon from Nazareth”…
 
And what is the conclusion? You yourselves may come to the conclusions. We have almost decided to write out some number of pages about “catholic orthodoxy” as far from truth, meaningless and false teaching to such an extent that it stole even completely justifiable statement that “the followers of false apostles worship the devil” from its adversaries! But it is excessive thing. Because everything is evidently even beside of this.  

[We ought to mention that we absolutely do not want to consider the sacred texts of Judaism and its religious practice in this article, because Judaism as religious faith, from our point of view, is not friendly and not enemy to us, but only alien, wholly and completely, to the teaching preached by Jesus Nazorean and His apostles. Moreover, when we speak about “the Old Testament” we do not speak about Tan-ah at all, but only about “the Old Testament” as not Judaic document – because how Judaism that do not know any “new testament” could to bear an “old testament”? Also we do not consider “the Old Testament” as the Christian document, because even the most thorough search did not allow us to find out in this document something resembles, even from far and even very mediatory, the teaching of Jesus Nazorean and His apostles. On the contrary, this is a document of syncretized “catholic orthodoxy” that has adapted for its own needs badly translated and much worse understood sacred text of the Judaic tradition, which followers, as we think, were not glad to this fact.   

Especially joyously, in this connection, we would like to cite the propositions of the two Jews who lived in the last century. One of them was quite authoritative, and the second one also was very witty. So, first of them said: “The Holy Scripture of Jews is neither ‘old’ nor ‘testament’”. Being in solidarity with the first speaker, the second one said the following: “The Christians considers the Jewish books as sacred ones. It is difficult to disagree with them. But we would like that they have understood the content of the books”.

Moreover, laughing over “the Demiurge” and his worshippers, we, in no sense, do not want to outrage religious senses of Judaism and Islam followers, or to doubt the image of God revealed in their Sacred Scriptures and traditions. Because even such a few thing that we know about the traditions forces us to abstain categorically from calling the above mentioned religions as “demiurgic ones”. “Demiurge” for us is not the LORD of Moses, and not ALLAH of Muhammad, but it is a syncretic deity, “god” of Irenaeus and Epiphaneus, Augustine and Tertullianus, Tommazo Torquemada and Robert le-Bugre, “the almighty creator (der Schupfer Almochtiger)” in the “Mein Kampf”, and “Loooord” by importunate and hysterical TV-preachers. While we abstain from any propositions about non-Christian religions and cults, we call as “demiurgists” the worshippers of this artificial deity, who dares, in absurd self-insanely, to call themselves as “the Christians” – with no any foundations on it, as we have just demonstrated here.]
 
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Translator’s notes:
 
1) The head of the Soviet official atheistic movement of the pre-war Stalin’s era.
2) In the quotation above Irenaeus translated the Greek ‘aeon’ as ‘the world’, but not as ‘century’.
3) See: http://biblicalstudies.ru
  
Translated from Russian by Alex Moma.
Moscow, copyleft 2011.
All the Biblical cites were given here according to the King James Holy Bible.
 
Original source in Russian see here:
http://bogomilos.livejournal.com/55794.html

(2 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments
 
[User Picture]
From:sophia_sadek
Date:November 7th, 2011 07:02 pm (UTC)

Thanks for the translation.

(Link)
I am not sure what you mean by the head of the Soviet atheistic movement. Does that refer to the author himself or to the person he comments on?

On a historic note, Christianity at the time of Irenaeus was far more diverse than it came to be after the purges of the sixth century. In fact, Medieval Christianity bore little or no resemblance to any of the institutions at the time of Irenaeus.
[User Picture]
From:alex_moma
Date:November 7th, 2011 09:16 pm (UTC)

Re: Thanks for the translation.

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Thank you for attentive reading, Sophia.

Does that refer to the author himself or to the person he comments on?

To himself, as I remember, it is almost straight quotation from his propagandistic article of 1930s.

On a historic note, Christianity at the time of Irenaeus was far more diverse than it came to be after the purges of the sixth century. In fact, Medieval Christianity bore little or no resemblance to any of the institutions at the time of Irenaeus.

Undoubtedly.
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