Early Church Fathers
1 A discourse of Gregory Thaumaturgus published by Joannes Aloysius Mingarelli, Bologna, 1770.
2 The codex gives dhmosieu/ousan, for which we read dhmosieu/ein.
3 The codex gives a0telh/j, for which eu0telh/j is read by the editor.
4 Reading qar0r9ou/ntwj for qar0r9ou=ntoj.
5 This is supposed by the Latin annotator to refer to the bishop, and perhaps to Phaedimus of Amasea, as in those times no one was at liberty to make an address in the church when the bishop was present, except by his request or with his permission.
6 Or, the Word.
8 Or, keys.
10 1 Cor. xv. 55.
11 Xristo/thtoj, for which, however, xrhsto/thtoj, benignity, is suggested. [Sometimes are intended ambiguity.]
14 Or, benignity.
1 A fragment. (Gallandi, Vet. Patr. Biblioth., xiv. p. 119; from a Catena on Matthew, Cod. ms. 168, Mitarelli.)
2 The text is apparently corrupt here: a@cia me\n sko/touj pra/guata e/nnoou0menon e@swqen' dia\ de tw=n e@cwqen merw=n fwto\j ei\nai dokou=nta proferon r0h/mata. Migne suggests e0nnoou=men to/n and profe9ronta.
1 In opposition to Noëtus, a bishop in Egypt. Eusebius, Hist. Eccl., vii. 24 and 25. Eusebius introduces this extract in the following terms: "There are also two books of his on the subject of the promises. The occasion of writing these was furnished by a certain Nepos, a bishop in Egypt, who taught that the promises which were given to holy men in the sacred Scriptures were to be understood according to the Jewish sense of the same; and affirmed that there would be some kind of a millennial period, plenished with corporeal delights, upon this earth. And as he thought that he could establish this opinion of his by the Revelation of John, he had composed a book on this question, entitled Refutation of the Allegorists. This, therefore, is sharply attacked by Dionysius in his books on the Promises. And in the first of these books he states his own opinion on the subject; while in the second he gives us a discussion on the Revelation of John, in the introduction to which he makes mention of Nepos," [Of this Noëtus, see the Philosophumena, vol. v., this series.]
2 As it is clear from this passage that this work by Dionysius was written against Nepos, it is strange that, in his preface to the eighteenth book of his Commentaries on Isaiah, Jerome should affirm it to have been composed against Irenaeus of Lyons. Irenaeus was certainly of the number of those who held millennial views, and who had been persuaded to embrace such by Papias, as Jerome himself tells us in the Catalogus and as Eusebius explains towards the close of the third book of his History. But that this book by Dionysus was written not against Irenaeus but against Nepos, is evident, not only from this passage in Eusebius, but also from Jerome himself, in his work On Ecclesiastical Writers, where he speaks of Dionysius.- Vales. [Compare (this series, infra) the comments of Victorinus of Petau for a Western view of the millennial subject.]
3 th=j pollh=j yalmw|di/aj. Christophorsonus interprets this of psalms and hymns composed by Nepos. It was certainly the practice among the ancient Christians to compose psalms and hymns in honour of Christ. Eusebius bears witness to this in the end of the fifth book of his History. Mention is made of these psalms in the Epistle of the Council of Antioch against Paul of Samosata, and in the penultimate canon of the Council of Laodicea, where there is a clear prohibition of the use of yalmoi9 i9diwtikoi/ in the church, i.e., of psalms composed by private individuals. For this custom had obtained great prevalence, so that many persons composed psalms in honour of Christ, and got them sung in the church. It is psalms of this kind, consequently, that the Fathers of the Council of Laodicea forbid to be sung thereafter in the church, designating them i/diwtikoi, i.e., composed by unskilled men, and not dictated by the Holy Spirit. Thus is the matter explained by Agobardus in his book De ritu canendi psalmos in Ecclesia.-Vales, [See vol. v., quotation from Pliny.]
4 tauth|= ma=llon h|\ proanepau/sato: it may mean, perhaps, for the way in which he has gone to his rest before us.
5 katepaggellome/nwn, i.e., diu ante promittunt quam tradunt. The metaphor is taken from the mysteries of the Greeks, who were wont to promise great and marvellous discoveries to the initiated, and then kept them on the rack by daily expectation, in order to confirm their judgment and reverence by such suspense in the conveyance of knowledge, as Tertullian says in his book Against the Valentinians.-Vales. [Vol. iii. p. 503.]
6 Reading e0lpizein a/napeiqo/ntwn for e0lpizo/mena peiqo/ntwn, with the Codex Mazarin.
7 e0n me\n ou\n tw|=' Arsenoei/th| . In the three codices here, as well as in Nicephorus and Ptolemy, we find this scription, although it is evident that the word should be written Arsinoei/th|, as the district took its name from Queen Arsinoe.-Vales.
8 ei9 kai\ fai/nointo. There is another reading, ei9 kai\ mh fai/nointo, although they might not appear to be correct. Christophorsonus renders it: ne illis quae fuerant ante ab ipsis decreta, si quidquam in eis veritati repugnare videretur, mordicus adhaererent praecavebant.
9 h0plwme/naij tai=j kardi/aij. Christophorsonus renders it, puris erga Deum ac simplicibis animis; Musculus gives, cordibus ad Deum expansis; and Rufinus, patefactis cordibus. [The picture here given of a primitive synod searching the Scriptures under such a presidency, and exhibiting such tokens of brotherly love, mutual subordination (1 Pet. v. 5), and a prevailing love of the truth, is to me one of the most fascinating of patristic sketches. One cannot but reflect upon the contrast presented in every respect by the late Council of the Vatican.]
10 This passage is given substantially by Eusebius also in book iii. c. 28.
11 The text gives o0neiropolei=n, for which for which o0neiropolei=/ or w0neiropo/l/\ei is to be read.
12 di' w\n enfhmo/teron tau=ta w|0h/qh poriei=sqai. The old reading was eu0qumo/teron; but the present reading is given in the Mss., Cod. Maz., and Med., as also in Eusebius, iii. 28, and in Nicephorus, iii. 14. So Rufinus renders it: et ut aliquid sacratius dicere videretur, legales aiebat festivitates rursum celebrundas. [These gross views of millennial perfection entailed upon subsequent ages a reactionary neglect of the study of the Second Advent. A Papal aphorism, preserved by Roscoe, embodies all this: "Sub umbilico nulla religio." It was fully exemplified, even under Leo X.]
13 [The humility which moderates and subdues our author's pride of intellect in this passage is, to me, most instructive as to the limits prescribed to argument in what Coleridge calls "the faith of reason."]
14 Rev. xxii. 7, 8.
15 diecagwgh=j legome/nhj. Musculus renders it tractatum libri; Christophorsonus gives discursum; and Valesius takes it as equivalent to oi0konomi0an, as diecagagei=n is the same as dioikei=n.
16 Rev. i. 1, 2.
17 1 John i. 1.
18 Matt. xvi. 17.
19 Rev. i. 9.
20 Rev. xxii. 7, 8.
21 It is worth while to note this passage of Dionysius on the ancient practice of the Christians, in giving their children the names of Peter and Paul, which they did both in order to express the honour and affection in which they held these saints, and to secure that their children might be dear and acceptable to God, just as those saints were. Hence it is that Chrysostom in his first volume, in his oration on St. Meletius, says that the people of Antioch had such love and esteem for Meletius, that the parents called their children by his name, in order that they might have their homes adorned by his presence. And the same Chrysostom, in his twenty-first homily on Genesis, exhorts his hearers not to call their children carelessly by the names of their grandfathers, or great-grandfathers, or men of fame; but rather by the names of saintly men, who have been shining patterns of virtue, in order that the children might be fired with the desire of virtue by their example.-Vales. [A chapter in the history of civilization might here be given on the origin of Christian names and on the motives which should influence Christians in the bestowal of names. The subject is treated, after Plato, by De Maistre.]
22 Acts xiii. 5.
23 Acts xiii. 13.
24 This is the second argument by which Dionysius reasoned that the Revelation and the Gospel of John are not by one author. For the first argument he used in proof of this is drawn from the character and usage of the two writers; and this argument Dionysius has prosecuted up to this point. Now, however, he adduces a second argument, drawn from the words and ideas of the two writers, and from the collocation of the expressions. For, with Cicero, I thus interpret the word su/ntacin. See the very elegant book of Dionysius Hal. entitled Peri su/nta/cewj o9noma/twn-On the Collocation of Names; although in this passage su/ntacij appears to comprehend the disposition of sentences as well as words. Further, from this passage we can see what experience Dionysius had in criticism; for it is the critic's part to examine the writings of the ancients, and distinguish what is genuine and authentic from what is spurious and counterfeit.-Vales.
25 John i. 14.
26 *1 John.
27 *1 John.
28 The old reading was, ton lo/gon, th\n gnw=sin. Valesius expunges the th0n gnw=sin, as disturbing the sense, and as absent in various codices. Instead also of the reading, to/n te th=j sofiaj, to/n te th=j gnw/sewj, the same editor adopts to/n te th=j gne/sewj, to/n te th=j fra/sewj, which is the reading of various manuscripts, and is accepted in the translation. Valesius understands that by the e0ka/teron logon Dionysus means the logoj e/ndia/qetoj and the logoj proforiko/j, that is, the subjective discourse, or reason in the mind, and the objective discourse, or utterance of the same.
29 [The jealousy with which, while the canon of New Testament Scripture was forming, every claim was sifted, is well illustrated in this remarkable essay. Observe its critical skill and the fidelity with which he exposes the objections based on the style and classicality of the Evangelist. The Alexandrian school was one of bold and original investigation, always subject in spirit, however, to the great canon of Prescription.]
30 Against the Epicureans. In Eusebius, Praepar. Evangel., book xiv. ch. 23-27. Eusebius introduces this extract in terms to the following effect: It may be well now to subjoin some few arguments out of the many which are employed in his disputation against the Epicureans by the bishop Dionysius, a man who professed a Christian philosophy, as they are found in the work which he composed on Nature. But peruse thou the writer's statements in his own terms.