Early Church Fathers
126 This clause is, of course, an interpolation by the Latin translator.
127 The words are loosely quoted memoriter, as is the custom with Irenaeus. See Hesiod, Works and Days, i. 77, etc.
128 Latin, of course, in the text.
129 There is here a play upon the words Lhtw and lhqein, the former being supposed to be derived from the latter, so as to denote secrecy.
130 This clause is probably an interpolation by the translator.
131 2 Tim. iv. 3.
132 "Coelet Demiurgo," such is the reading in all the mss.MSS;. and editions. Harvey, however, proposes to read "celet Demiurgum;" but the change which he suggests, besides being without authority, does not clear away the obscurity which hangs upon the sentence.
133 Comp. Pindar, Olymp., i. 38, etc.
134 "Compuncti" supposed to correspond to kekauthriasmenoi: see 1 Tim. iv. 2. The whole passage is difficult and obscure.
135 Harvey wishes, without any authority, to substitute "tacitus" for "tacitos," but there is no necessity for alteration. Irenaeus is here playing upon the word, according to a practice in which he delights, and quietly scoffs at the Sige (Silence) of the heretics by styling those Aeons silent who were derived from her.
136 Isa. lxi. 2.
137 Matt. v. 45.
138 Isa. v. 12.
139 Rom. viii. 36.
140 John ii. 23.
141 John iv. 50.
142 John v. 1, etc. It is well known that, to fix what is meant by the eorth, referred to in this passage of St. John, is one of the most difficult points in New Testament criticism. Some modern scholars think that the feast of Purim is intended by the Evangelist; but, upon the whole, the current of opinion that has always prevailed in the Church has been in favour of the statement here made by Irenaeus. Christ would therefore be present at four passovers after His baptism: (1) John ii. 13; (2) John v. 1; (3) John vi. 4; (4) John xiii. 1.
143 John vi. 1, etc.
144 John xi. 54, xii. 1.
145 Or, "teacher," magistri.
146 Harvey strangely remarks here, that "the reading audiret, followed by Massuet, makes no sense." He gives audiretur in his text, but proposes to read ordiretur. The passage may, however, be translated as above, without departing from the Benedictine reading audiret.
147 "Neque solvens suam legem in se humani generis." Massuet would expunge "suam;" but, as Harvey well observes, "it has a peculiar significance, nor abrogating his own law."
148 "Renascuntur in Deum." The reference in these words is doubtless to baptism, as clearly appears from comparing book iii. 17, 1.
149 It has been remarked by Wall and others, that we have here the statement of a valuable fact as to the baptism of infants in the primitive Church.
150 Col. i. 18.
151 Acts iii. 15.
152 [That our Lord was prematurely old may be inferred from the text which Irenaeus regards as proof that he literally lived to be old. St. John viii. 56, 57; comp. Is. liii. 2.]
153 Luke iii. 23.
154 The Latin text of this clause is, "Quia autem triginta annorum aetas prima indolis est juvenis"-words which it seems almost impossible to translate. Grabe regarded "indolis" as being in the nominative, while Massuet contends it is in the genitive case; and so regarding it, we might translate, "Now that the age of thirty is the first age of the mind of youth," etc. But Harvey re-translates the clause into Greek as follows: Oti de h twn triakonta etwn hlikia h prwth thsdiaqesewj esti neaj-words which we have endeavoured to render as above. The meaning clearly is, that the age of thirty marked the transition point from youth to maturity.
155 With respect to this extraordinary assertion of Irenaeus, Harvey remarks: "The reader may here perceive the unsatisfactory character of tradition, where a mere fact is concerned. From reasonings founded upon the evangelical history, as well as from a preponderance of external testimony, it is most certain that our Lord's ministry extended but little over three years; yet here Ireneaus states that it included more than ten years, and appeals to a tradition derived, as he says, from those who had conversed with an apostle"
156 Trajan's reign commenced A.D. 98, and St. John is said to have lived to the age of a hundred years.
157 John viii. 56, 57.
158 "Sed veritas"-literally, "the truth."
159 [This statement is simply astounding, and might seem a providential illustration of the worthlessness of mere tradition unsustained by the written Word. No mere tradition could be more creditably authorized than this.]
160 Iliad, iv. 1.
161 Latin, of course, in the text.
162 Luke xiii. 16.
163 John v. 5.
164 The text of this sentence is very uncertain. We follow Massuet's reading, "negotio Aeonum," in preference to that suggested by Harvey.
165 "Sive confusionem" is very probably a marginal gloss which has found its way into the text. The whole clause is difficult and obscure.
166 Comp. i. 14, 4.
167 Thus: Swthr ( j = 200, w = 800, t = 300, h = 8, r = 100) = 1408.
168 Being written thus, w#$
169 This is one of the most obscure passages in the whole work of Irenaeus, and the editors have succeeded in throwing very little light upon it. We may merely state that w#$
seems to be regarded as containing in itself the initials of the three words hwhy
, Jehovah; sym
, heaven; and Cd)y
, and earth.
170 Nothing can be made of these words; they have probably been corrupted by ignorant transcribers, and are now wholly unintelligible.
171 "Literae sacerdotales,"-another enigma which no man can solve. Massuet supposes the reference to be to the archaic Hebrew characters, still used by the priests after the square Chaldaic letters had been generally adopted. Harvey thinks that sacerdotales represents the Greek leitourgika, "meaning letters as popularly used in common computation."
172 The editors have again long notes on this most obscure passage. Massuet expunges "quaeque," and gives a lengthened explanation of the clause, to which we can only refer the curious reader.
, Baruch, blessed, one of the commonest titles of the Almighty. The final r
174 Ex. xxv. 10.
175 Ex. xxv. 17.
176 Ex. xxv. 23.
177 Ex. xxv. 31, etc.
178 Only six branches are mentioned in Ex. xxv. 32.
179 Ex. xxvi. 1.
180 Ex. xxvi. 7.
181 Ex. xxvi. 2.
182 Ex. xxvi. 16.
183 Ex. xxvi. 26.
184 Ex. xxx. 23, etc.
185 Ex. xxx. 34.
186 Some such supplement as this seems requisite, but the syntax in the Latin text is very confused.
187 Matt. xiv. 19, 21; Mark vi. 41, 44; Luke ix. 13, 14; John vi. 9, 10, 11.
188 Matt. xxv. 2, etc.
189 Matt. xvii. 1.
190 St. John is here strangely overlooked.
191 Luke viii. 51.
192 Luke xvi. 28.
193 "Fines et summitates;" comp. Justin Mart., Dial. c. Tryph., 91.
194 "Juvenis," one in the prime of life.
195 It has been usual in the Christian Church to reckon four commandments in the first table, and six in the second; but the above was the ancient Jewish division. See Joseph., Antiq., iii. 6.
196 Ex. xxvi. 37.
197 Ex. xxvii. 1; "altitudo" in the text must be exchanged for "latitudo."
198 Ex. xxviii. 1.
199 Ex. xxviii. 5.
200 Josh. x. 17.
201 [Note the manly contempt with which our author dismisses a class of similitudes, which seem, even in our day, to have great attractions for some minds not otherwise narrow.]
202 365 (the days of the year)-12 x 30 + 5.