Amphilochius of Iconium, Against the Heretics (Against False Asceticism)

Translation by Andrew S. Jacobs

This heresiological treatise survives in a single 13th-century manuscript, Scorialensis gr. 137 (T.I.17), bound with works by Basil of Caesarea, Athanasius of Alexandria, and Anastasius of Sinai. Because the beginning and end of this treatise are missing, its original title and author are unknown. Gerhard Ficker, in his 1906 publication Amphilochiana, convincingly argued that the author was Amphilochius, bishop of Iconium (modern Konya, Turkey) in the last quarter of the fourth century. Ficker subsequently included this treatise (which he entitled Bekämpfung falscher Askese, or "Against False Asceticism") in his edition of Amphilochius's works. When Cornelius Datema published an updated Greek edition of Amphilochius's works in 1978 (Corpus Christianorum, series graeca, vol. 3, pp. 181-214), he based his text on Ficker's edition but entitled the work Contra Haereticos, "Against the Heretics." During the same period, Constantine Bonis was publishing his version of the text in the Greek journal Θεολογία under the title Περι ψευδους ασκησεως ("On False Asceticism"); he published the entire text, with introduction in modern Greek, as a special reprint of Θεολογία in 1979. Scholars refer to the treatise by any or all of these titles. The single extant manuscript has significant damage at points, requiring restoration and speculation by its editors (noted below).

Although fairly prominent in his time, Amphilochius has not quite risen to canonical status in early Christian studies. His cousin was the more famous Gregory of Nazianzus, who was briefly bishop of Constantinople in 380 and is included as one of the "Cappadocian Fathers" (with Basil of Caesarea and Basil's brother Gregory of Nyssa) who staunchly defended the Trinitarian formula of the Council of Nicaea throughout the last decades of the 300s. Amphilochius, too, wrote in defense of the Nicene Creed, against so-called Arians and other Trinitarian "heretics."

If written by Amphilochius, this treatise gives us insight into debates over the appropriate bounds of early Christian ascetic endeavor familiar from other contexts, such as the roughly contemporaneous fracas over the moderate monk Jovinian. Amphilochius seems to be talking about a movement generally confined to his native Cappadocia, although he links it (as did many heresiologists) to the originator of heresies, Simon Magus. He also refers to Manicheans and Marcionites, and creates a novel comparison between the objects of his treatise and the Samaritans (on this comparison you can see discussion by Matthew Chalmers in his 2019 dissertation). The heretics in question seem to call themselves Renunciants, Apotactites, and Abstinents, Encratites. The latter label is familiar in heresiology of the time; the former seems to be a fairly common term used by monks of all stripes (the pilgrim Egeria, for instance, hears it used of monks in the holy land).

Epiphanius of Cyprus, in his late fourth-century heresiological Panarion, associates the two terms with "apostolics" (Pan. 61.7.1); the Codex Theodosianus contains a law from 383 (16.5.11) that condemns the Encratites, Apotactites, along with a host of other rigorist Christian movements. Finally, Basil of Caesarea in a "canonical" (rule-making) letter to Amphilochius (ep. 199.47), condemns Encratites and Apotactites (along with "sack-wearers," Saccophori); he calls them "an offshoot of the Marcionites (Markiōnistōn estin apoblastēma, μαρκιωνιστῶν ἐστιν ἀποβλάστημα), abominating marriage and rejecting wine." Whether these groups really used these titles—or, indeed, really existed or made the ascetic claims Amphilochius and his contemporaries ascribe to them—must remain unknown.

Even if the treatise has no value in firmly reconstructing Christian sociological divisions in the late fourth century, it certainly provides a window into anxieties over the rising prominence of ascetic endeavor in late antiquity. Amphilochius objects to the extremes of the Encratites, who reject wine (even in the Eucharist) and prohibit eating "living things." According to Amphilochius, the "heretics" even decry orthodox churches as polluted by these "unclean" elements and refuse to enter them, establishing their own places of worship. Amphilochius strives to show their hypocrisy as well as their stupidity, mostly through proof-texts from the Old and New Testaments. (His citation of Scriptures seems to be primarily from memory, leading to one or two altered verses.) He also makes several fascinating arguments from the natural and agricultural worlds.

I had the pleasure of reading small sections of this treatise with my Advanced Greek students at Harvard Divinity School (Jon-Paul LaPeña, Isaac Martinez, and Joseph Weidemann) and with Matthew Chalmers during his dissertation process. My thanks to all of them.

I use the edition of Datema for my translation here. Ficker's Greek edition is freely available online, and so I have included both Datema's page numbers in [bold square brackets] and Ficker's in <gray bent brackets>. Paragraph numbering is Datema's; subhead titles are my own. I have also consulted Bonis's critical edition from 1979, and include some variant readings as unnumbered marginal notes.

You may link to, share, or reproduce this translation with attribution. You may not make any commercial use of this work. Any suggestions for corrections or additions to the text or annotations are more than welcome: andrew [at] andrewjacobs [dot] org.

Heretics as "little foxes"

[185] <23> … they don't understand In this surviving opening, Amphilochius uses multiple versions of the word phroneō: "understand" phronousin (φρονοῦσιν), "understanding," phronēma (φρόνημα), "prudent," phronimōi (φρονίμῳ); his point is to contrasts the shrewdness of other heresies with these heretics' ignorance. what is heavenly; but they also don't have human understanding; they don't dare to go out in public or to hold discussion with a prudent person, or to set foot in a community of Christians, Here and elsewhere Amphilochius uses polis (πόλις) to indicate the Christian polity or community. like the leaders of the other heresies, who try to trick some people "through philosophy and empty deception" (Col 2:8). Using whatever shrewdness they have they try to bend the Scriptures to their own desires and from there to deceive the more simpleminded. For the Scriptures resemble healing remedies which heal when correctly prepared but kill when given without care or skill.

That's also why they That is, these particular kinds of heretics are called "little foxes" (Cant 2:15). You can find that the rest of the heresies possess logic and plausibility and they prevail over the more simpleminded with syllogisms and sophistries; I think the prophet is praying about them when he says: "He delivers me from my powerful enemies" (Ps 17:18). Now the little foxes, that is, these heresies, what ability do they have to deceive? No insight, phronēsin (φρόνησιν) no strength, no openness about their belief, parrēsian tou dogmatos autōn (παρρησίαν τοῦ δόγματος αὐτῶν) no righteous standing among the communities which can deceive those who are set apart by the faith. They have only one thing: <24> the deceitfulness of those animals. That is, of foxes For whenever they go into a vineyard—that is, among the people—they don't go in openly but in secret, like thieves, just like those animals, the foxes. When they see the vine-dresser occupied in another part, they go recklessly into other people's labors, which they make off with. That's how you can understand the scriptural phrase, for not only are they called little foxes but little foxes that ruin the vineyards (Cant 2:15). For no man among them who is strong or steadfast in the faith and firmly founded upon the rock—that is Christ—is deceived, but maybe someone similar to a husk, who is "borne about by every wind" (Eph 4:14), is scattered like chaff from the Church. When Amphilochius is speaking in the abstract, I use "Church"; when he is speaking about specific buildings, I use "church." The Lord talks about people of this sort in the gospels: "Whoever scandalizes one of the little ones who have faith in me, it is better that a millstone be fastened around his neck" and so forth (Matt 18:6), making clear that the great and steadfast in the faith, who hold on to the head of the Church, Christ, cannot be scandalized. About those too the apostle Paul plainly hints, saying: "From among them there are those who insinuate themselves into households and [186] capture little women heaped up with sins, led by diverse desires, always learning but never able to come to higher knowledge of the truth" (2 Tim 3:6-7). <25> He showed through the word insinuating the lair of the serpent who deceived the first woman; he also made clear the treachery and the cowardice of their ways and the weakness of their preaching and the unsoundness of those who are deceived. For he hasn't mentioned a man, but only "little women" susceptible to deceit. This is also why their preaching deceives that gender and maybe someone womanish. "that gender," ekeino to genos (ἐκεῖνο τὸ γένος); "womanish," gunaikōdēs (γυναικώδης) You can see in their assemblies lots of "little women" who have been deceived, attending upon strange men allotriois andrasi (ἀλλοτρίοις ἀνδράσι), or "other people's husbands." On "indiscriminate" cohabitation, see ch. 24. and living indiscriminately with them. What happens after that "is shameful even to say" (Eph 5:12).

Who is the leader of these heresies? This header and the one before chapter 10 below are set as separate lines by Datelma, Ficker, and Bonis so presumably they appear this way in the manuscript.

The Devil's invention of heresies

2. The leader of all heresies is the Devil. Just as Christ is the leader of the catholic Church "and gave himself over on her behalf, in order that he might sanctify and present to himself the Church having neither blemish or wrinkle or anything of this sort" (Matt 23:10), so too the Devil, who is prepared for deceiving and dissipating, became the leader of all heresies. The human race was taught to worship only God, but the Devil made many falsely-named gods. Why do I say "many"? He made a god out of all of creation, in order that he might beguile wretched humanity away from the real God. For you <26> could see the likenesses of animals and beasts and snakes and birds being worshiped, and furthermore nearly all of matter honored as a god. And this is why the Lord accepted the incarnate dispensation ensarkon oikononomia (ἔνσαρκον οἰκονομίαν), a phrase that Amphilochius uses throughout the treatise on behalf of the human race, so he might abolish the error of polytheism, tēn polutheon planēn (τὴν πολύθεον πλάνην) return them to the worship of the real God through "the bath of regeneration" (Tit 3:5), and assemble all of scattered humanity into the Church—he also called it his body—and his word might be fulfilled: "there will be one flock and one shepherd" (John 10:16).

But once more the jealous Devil, by his own evil and by his ancient craft, does not stop deceiving the unsteady: for just as before he beguiled people away from the real God by renaming idols "gods," so also now he names many things "churches"—or, rather, if it's necessary to speak the truth, idols of churches—and he raises up anastēsas (ἀναστήσας), although in context apostēsas (ἀποστήσας) might make more sense and be verbally parallel to the next clause those who have been persuaded by him to be separated from Christ. Just as he turned them away apestēsen (ἀπέστησεν) from God through so-called gods, now through [187] churches (so-called among them) he seeks to draw them away from the real Church.

The Devil's false promises

It's customary for the Devil to deceive through great promises: for he said to the first human, or actually to his wife, when he came to her: "If you eat from the tree of knowledge, you will be like gods" (Gen 3:5), promising to make them gods, that is, immortal. But he stole away their very life! Now his deception has <27> become greater: for when the Savior appeared and many believed in him, the Evil One aroused persecution against the Christians; those whom he was no longer able to hold onto by deception through idolatry he forced to become apostates through tyranny. And you could see a horrible thing: emperors raging against the Christians, laws full of lawlessness, judges as advocates of impiety. Piety was a crime beyond every murder and every act of sorcery, and only Christians inhabited the prisons, were tortured, were beaten, were burned, were lacerated, were thrown to the beasts. Even though all of these things were brought down upon them from the Evil One and his ministers to make them deny God's Church, nobly and eagerly they bore it all because of their love for the Savior and they died gladly, exchanging temporary death for everlasting life.

3. When the Devil observed and understood that his use of force was being beaten he changed all of his schemes into another form of deceit: once more, a useful promise, a humble habit, schēma (σχῆμα) and a pious form of worship. For when abstinence and renunciation are being preached, "Abstinence" translates enkrateia (ἐγκρατεία) and "renuniciation" translates apotaxis (ἀποτάξις) throughout, as well as their related forms (Abstinents, abstaining, abstention, and so forth). who would not be easily deceived by this ruse? For he knew that it is difficult for a Christian to hear: "Reject God, deny the Savior, run away from the Church, abandon the blood of Christ through which you were redeemed!" If he said these things, who would give him heed? But now, by an ancient trick, <28> once more promising great things of the true Paradise, Christ's Church, he casts down humanity. For Christ's Church really is Paradise, in which are both the Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge, the stream which rises out of the earth and waters Paradise, from which also the four rivers flow forth, and it has many different kinds of fruits. This is why it's Paradise, since it has many kinds of fruits! For Paradise isn't uniform, as the apostates say. Amphilochius's insistence that Paradise isn't "uniform" (moneidēs [μονειδὴς]) echoes arguments from ascetics such as Jerome and Ambrose against Jovinian, who proclaimed that there was a single reward in heaven for all the baptized. There are two significant differences, however: first, Amphilochius is arguing against severe ascetics who want to exclude the lax from "Paradise," not against more lax Christians like Jovinian; second, "Paradise" here is not heaven but the Church on earth. Each one, just as he possesses a degree of faith and eagerness, he grows and [188] bears fruits. Only let him abide in Christ's Paradise, just as it is was written: "Planted in the house of the Lord they will flower in the halls of our God" (Ps 91:14). If it were the time of martyrdom, we would hand over our body, we would leave behind this temporary life, we would despise family, genous (γένους) we would have scorn for possessions: let everything go away, let "faith, hope, and love" (1 Cor 13:13) abide in us, as the apostle says. And in another place: "I have come to believe," he says, "that neither life nor death, not present or future, not any other creation will be able to divide us from Christ's love" (Rom 8:39-40). What this very love is, our Lord Jesus Christ himself says: "Who eats my flesh and drinks my blood, he abides in me <29> and I in him" (John 6:56). And because of his tremendous love for us he let his own precious blood fall on our behalf: for "by his precious blood you were redeemed," Peter the apostle says (1 Pet 1:19).

Rejection of God's mysteries

4. Now the one who has denied Christ's blood has insulted his coming and devalued the price paid as deposit on his behalf. And what kind of defense will they have, those who have denied God's blood and run away from the Church? For if, as we said before, the apostles and martyrs suffered such things on behalf of Christ's blood and met their end in this confession, what kind of punishment are they worthy of who—without wounds, without swords, without any danger!— denied the price paid as a deposit on their behalf? The ones denying this shouldn't suppose they have any Christian quality, for all the mysteries of the Christians depend on this. Even if you said "churches" and "Scriptures" and "catecheses" and "baptism" and "altar," even "the body itself," without the blood it's nothing: for a body without blood is a corpse and no one offers a corpse on the altar. You can find even throughout the Old Testament blood being offered and usually all things are purified in blood according to the Law. "How much more will Christ's blood purify our consciences from dead works," says the Apostle (Heb 9:14). And again: "Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have freedom <30> to enter the sanctuary in Christ's blood, which he renewed, Bonis: "which he renewed for us" a fresh and living path" (Heb 10:19-20). He has shown you everywhere the strength of the mystery of the Christians, that it is not possible to flee from sin, or the Devil himself, or to enter the sanctuary, which [189] he renewed for us, a fresh and living path, or to be acknowledged by the emperor when the seal is not imposed. For if soldiers contending in wars and struggling about salvation itself guard the standard standard is to sumbolon (τὸ σύμβολον), which could also mean "creed" and because of this display loyalty to the Emperor, supposing that if they destroy it they will no longer be able to behold the Emperor's countenance, what will they do who have not destroyed a lifeless symbol but despoiled of the very blood of Christ?

5. But if someone should examine carefully, those who have been deceived into these heresies are more pitiable than every person who has been deceived and worthy of many lamentations. So much has the Evil One prevailed over them and darkened their foolish hearts that they don't even know what they have suffered. They should moan and weep because they have been deprived of so much and of such great good things and of life itself. They have suffered the opposite, but they call themselves "righteous" and more exalted than all people. Why do I say "people"? Holier even than the very blood <31> of Christ! Should the Devil only snatch one of them and cast him out of the church, you could see from that very hour such a one uttering injustice recklessly on high, no longer acknowledging the baptizing bishop Here, as throughout, Amphilochius uses hiereus (ἱερέυς) for "bishop" or his spiritual mother, the Church, which gave birth to him and reared him, or the altar from which he has eaten and drunk from childhood, nor the holy offerings themselves. But right away the denial of and blasphemy against the mysteries is considered a first advancement and a great success among them. For such a one begins to say—or, rather, the Devil speaking in him: "What is the Church? What is baptism? Is this the blood of Christ? Let it not come into my mouth!" Wretch! If you were watching over your heart with every precaution, if you were praying assiduously until your final breath, the safeguard phulaktērion (φυλακτήεριον) would endure for you. If you didn't give the Devil access to your heart, you wouldn't be taken captive by him into his will. Abstinence and renunciation brought you up to this advancement, it has taught you nothing else but to renounce the only holy things. Is the blood of Christ impure while you are pure? I was thinking about another renunciation that you have, about which the Lord said that "If anyone does not renounce all his possessions, he is not my disciple" (Luke 14:33) and "If you wish to be perfect, give up your wealth and possessions and give them to the poor" and so on (Matt 19:21). And he <32> didn't add: "If anyone does not renounce my Church or my mysteries, he is not my disciple." For it is clear that he taught [190] us through his incarnate dispensation first to renounce the Devil and his idols and all of his error, and to swear allegiance suntassesthai (συντάσσεσθαι) the opposite of "renounce," apotassesthai (ἀποτάσσεσθαι) to him alone through his Church and mysteries. Have you renounced the first renunciation or the second? The first is giving up idols. The second is disdain for property and contempt for every fleshly desire.

False renunciation of property and family

6. So Bonis: So let's see what kind of renunciation you're talking about. That of property? let's see what kind of renunciation you call that of property. Yet who has been thus enslaved to the sickness of avarice like the heretics? Not only do they, with certainty, hold on to the property which comes their way, but they become the custodians and treasuries of that of others as if it were their own; they collect interest and usury and they add on the property from others while they profit from transgressions, so they might augment only the sickness of greed. For no one has ever heard of a heretic, selling everything he has, who gave it to the poor and became the performer of this commandment (i.e., Matt 19:21). You have renounced the holy things alone; this is all you've learned from your abstinence and renunciation: not to acknowledge your bishop, who has always nourished you through the mystical and holy food. No great advancement! For if you call this advancement, those who are insane mainomenoi (μαινόμενοι) come to it first: for whenever they are overcome by this illness, they misrecognize their parents, they don't recognize <33> their brother, they don't remember their good works, but even if someone should want to help they are perceived as an enemy and opponent among them, and when asked among their relatives the cause of this grief, they have nothing to say, braying nonsensical and inconsistent things. So it is clear that the apostates from the Church are overcome by the illness of madness, insulting everybody, keeping away, calling their father who begat them an adulterer, considering their mother a prostitute, not keeping the commandment of God which says: "Whoever speaks evil against father or mother shall be put to death" (Ex 21:17). But perhaps, in seeking an excuse, he will say: "I revile my fleshly parents." You aren't doing this correctly: for the Law says this and our Lord Jesus Christ puts a seal on it. He spoke to censure the Jews when they accused him saying: "Why do your disciples transgress the traditions of the elders and eat with unwashed hands?" (Matt 15:2), the Lord said to this: "Why do you transgress the commandment of God and your tradition? For God said: Honor your father and your mother, and whoever speaks evil against father or mother shall be put to death" (Matt 15:3-4). You see how he sealed the commandment, or rather the law of nature through his own word? Bonis: through his word And there are lots of things to say about [191] honor and fear of parents, but concerning this the witness of the Old and New Testaments is sufficient.

Heretics as the prodigal son

7. Let us see if they <34> honor their spiritual parents. Now who is the spiritual father? Certainly after God it's the bishop who baptized you. For it is written: "In Christ Jesus through the gospel I have begotten you" (1 Cor 4:15) and "behold I and the children whom you, God, gave to me" (Heb 2:13) and to those who have fallen away: "My children," he says, "for whom I am again in labor, until Christ is formed in you" (Gal 4:19), which we also pray to happen to them. And the mother is certainly the Church who reared them. Now does the heretic acknowledge them? Does he recognize their assistance, that through them he fled the tyranny of the Devil, through them he was named "Christian"? Why do I say "Christian"? He was clothed in Christ himself! For the Scripture says: "As many of you have been baptized in Christ, so many have put on Christ" (Gal 3:27). Or maybe it's just that you have been stripped once more by the serpent. So what about it? Do you acknowledge them or have you denied them? What will you do? For if you have dishonored those who begot you according to the flesh, have you utterly denied those who begot you again through "the bath of regeneration" (Tit 3:5), from which comes your life? But since you have really wandered "into a distant land" and you used up the "part of" your paternal "property" which "came to you" (Luke 15:11ff.), you also eat carob husks and you graze the pigs of the first citizen. prōtopolitou (πρωτοπολίτου); Amphilochius seems to be misremembering the phrase "one of the citizens," heni tōn politōn (ἑνὶ τῶν πολιτῶν) from Luke 15. Those are not his sheep, since there is one good shepherd and he has one flock (John 10:16). What is the property that you destroyed? <35> It is clear and once again plain to see: the faith and the gift that you received through baptism. For just as when you were baptized you put on Christ, so when you wandered away from the Church you stripped off Christ. And so that you won't think this phrase is a mere device, sophisma (σόφισμα) when his son returned the Father commanded nothing else but that "the best garment" and "a ring" be given to him (Luke 15:22). Imitate him, brother! Stand apart from the mundane ideas like he did from the land; The parallel is between "mudane" (gēinōn [γηῖνων]) ideas and the distant "land" (gēs [γῆς]) where the prodigal son wandered come back yourself, like he did, and you also say: "How do the hired hands of my father have abundant bread, but I am dying of hunger? (Luke 15:17) Bonis: How many of the hired hands of my father... (agreeing with Luke 15:17) I don't have bread that can fortify the human heart but only feed for pigs, carob husks." What are these, other than the Devil's compositions, as we shall demonstrate in another treatise? In Amphilochius's allegory, the "husks" (keratia [κεράτια]) on which the prodigal son feeds are writings (sungrammata [συγγράμματα]) inspired by the Devil. Despite this promise, Amphilochius does not seem to return to this interpretation of the "husks" in another treatise (or, perhaps he means, chapter [logos, λόγος] of this treatise, in which case it might have come in a later portion that doesn't survive).

[192] 8. Reflect upon where you've fallen away from, how you been deceived, enticed by the serpent promising great things so you might be defrauded of the good things you had. For in the beginning, the Word taught, he tricked the first human in this way along with his wife, saying: "You will be like gods" (Gen 3:5). He used the same trick on you: through the name of abstinence and renunciation he lead away from your father's house to a distant land, in which there are no sheep but only pigs. And if you had kept the master's command, which said to you: "I shall place enmity between you and the <36> serpent" (cf. Gen 3:15), you would not have listened to his counsel. But God, who loves humanity, does now know how to bear a grudge: if you just come back he is ready, because of his very own goodness, to meet you just like that one. i.e., the Prodigal Son of Luke 15. For he knows that you were dead for quite some time, when you didn't taste bread; Luke 15:17 refers to the Prodigal Son lacking bread; Amphilochius understands this typologically to refer to the Encratites' rejection of the bread of orthodox Eucharist. embracing you he will kiss your neck, which the Devil stiffened, and he will feed you once again through the fatted calf, the mysteries of Christ. There will be great rejoicing for you and the Father will say: "Rejoice and be glad, for my son was dead and has come to life again; having been lost he has been found" (Luke 15:32). You will find all of us rejoicing together with the Father and being gladdened at your salvation: for among us there is no single bit of malice. If you listen to our advice, you will find these things happening from our common father concerning you, and from your brother. Or perhaps, because of the little women who were deceived with you, you might begin "to devise pretexts for sins" (Ps 140:4): "After all this time should I return into the Church? I shall hear from the little women who live with me [that I am] a destroyer." destroyer is katalutēs (καταλύτης), rare word Amphilochius ascribes as an insult among the heretics. Ficker restores this clause differently: ἀκούσω παρὰ τῶν γυναικαρίων· τῶν<..>ζ<….>ων καταλύτης ("but I shall hear from the little women: Destroyer of the living!") and Bonis as well: ἀκούω παρὰ τῶν γυναικαρίων· τῶν (συ)ζ(εύξε)ων καταλυτής; ("do I hear from the little women: Destroyer of couples?")

9. After so many things this has been said among them, and this is that same very bitter craft of the Devil, that not only does he trip humankind in the beginning, but also after the fall he does not allow him to return to <37> God and be cured. What is the destruction? katalusis (κατάλυσις); that is, why do they think they will become a katalutēs if they return to the Church? What is the transgression? Tell me! By all means, it is destruction whenever someone abandons the faith and its mysteries which have been handed down in the Church of God and withdraws into faithlessness. Here's what you should have said in the beginning, when you were in your Father's house, when the Devil and his henchmen were persuading you to turn away from the paternal wealth of true Life, then you should have said:

"I am not becoming a destroyer, I am not becoming a transgressor, no one shall separate me from the love of Christ (Rom 8:35), who undertook such things for me, who submitted to no one, in order that he might redeem me, who was formed, in his own blood from sin. And [193] how shall I run away from the Church, denying the price laid down on my behalf?"

And he was persisting in persuading you through the useful promise and distinguished names, as is customary for him and for his henchmen, to give up the faith in your zeal for the habit of abstinence and renunciation or some other distinguished name. At that time you should have said:

"It is possible for me, while being a Christian and remaining in the Church and keeping the mysteries, to renounce property, to renounce evil, to renounce all the world, that is, worldly ideas; and if it were necessary also to abstain from food and from every fleshly desire—and so I don't have to list them one-by-one, even if it is necessary to keep virginity and purity, hagneian (ἁγνείαν) it's possible for me, while being a Christian and keeping the faith, to build up all of these. But if I <38> removed the foundation of the faith, which is Jesus (1 Cor 3:11), how would I build up the way of life? politeuma (πολίτευμα); more typically in fourth-century ascetic writing we see politeia (πολιτεία) I hear these things every day in the Church of Christ proclaimed from the Fathers who illuminate me: but to you I shall say: Go away from me all of you workers of lawlessness (Luke 13:27), if anyone should proclaim a gospel to you against what you received, let him be anathema (Gal 1:9)."

If you had ever been vigilant, if you had ever remained alert, you would not have been lured away by the leader of heresies, you would not have really become a destroyer. For no one will force you, if you have returned into the Church, to eat and drink fleshly food or to marry or be married, but if it seems good not to eat bread or any of the things that fatten the body, just don't deprive yourself of the body and blood of Christ, don't abominate God's creations.

That these same heresies come from Simon Magus

10. Each person has the power to refrain from what is evil and to strive for what is good and to receive as much ability and favor from the good as he wishes; power is exousian (ἐξουσίαν); ability is dunamin (δύναμιν); and favor throughout translates charis (χάρις) for whatever sort of vessel is found, so much favor is given to the one asking, just as Scripture says concerning spiritual and holy ones: "the spiritual one interrogates all things, but he is interrogated <39> by no one" (1 Cor 6:17). And this is a great thing, that he has received so much autonomy authentian (αὐθεντίαν) from God to interrogate all things but be interrogated by no one. But already becoming loftier than all of human nature, even before the resurrection, he has received [the ability] to judge from God. This greatly astonishes those who hear it, that there is an advancement even beyond this degree. [194] Saying "the one joined to the Lord is one spirit" (1 Cor 3:1)—and he didn't say, he is "spiritual" or "holy," but "is one spirit"—should make clear that such a one has been merged with the divine. He has become one with God, he can no longer be separated. For this same reason both the faithless one and the fleshly one, to the particular degree to which they have given themselves over to fleshly desires and to faithlessness, so much does he find transgression multiplied in himself. And you can find this also in Scripture: for although he says to the fleshly, "I was not able to speak to you like spiritual ones but as fleshly ones" (1 Cor 3:1), he's [not] calling those who have fallen into the ultimate evil "fleshly," as they no longer possess the source Datema, following Ficker, reads archēn (ἀρχήν), "source," for ardēn (ἄρδην) found in the manuscript (which Ficker notes "makes no sense"); Bonis leaves ἄρδην and supplies ischun (ἰσχὺν) after "provides," rendering: "as they no longer possess utterly even that strength providing them with the Holy Spirit." which provides them with the Holy Spirit. He puts it this way in Genesis: "May my Spirit not remain in those people on account of their being flesh" (Gen 6:3). We should have furnished many more scriptural proof-texts about this, <40> but we considered it superfluous since the two persons of the faithful and the unfaithful are clear. For you will find in the first degree those who are preeminent in their piety: the holy prophets and apostles and martyrs and many other children of Christ's Church; and in the second aspect you will find many others in the Scriptures, workers of iniquity and children of the Devil also called by many different names. One of these is Simon, the founder of these heresies, whom we shall show received all of the Devil's evil into his own heart.

Simon, Gemellos, and the origin of these heresies

11. When he approached Philip the apostle, who was preaching in Samaria, and was instructed by him in the Word of truth and he renounced the Devil and pledged himself to God, he was found worthy also of baptism. He was remaining constant by the apostle's side, "observing the signs and wonders" accomplished by him "and he was amazed" (Acts 8:13): for he had not simply understood the preaching, but even for a time the Scripture was clear to him as he remained constant so that he was completely assured by both sight and sound. And these things God's love of humanity brought to pass in order that he might benefit him. And if he had wished it, it might have happened; but instead of this he conceived the opposite. For holy Philip explained to his fellow apostles in Jerusalem that "Samaria <41> has received the Word of God" (Acts 8:14) and that it was time for bishops to be given to them; and when holy Peter and John went down from Jerusalem and made [195] ordinations, those who were deemed worthy of such a favor "received the Holy Spirit." Amphilochius understands the imposition of the Holy Spirit in Acts as the creation of a line of succession of bishops through laying on of hands, probably because laying on of hands cheirothesia (χειροθεσία) was associated in his day with ordination, not baptism. When Simon observed that "the Holy Spirit was granted through the apostles' laying on of hands," he became sick with lust for power and offered gifts to the apostles, saying: "Grant to me also this power, so that the one upon whom I lay hands might receive the Holy Spirit. Peter said to him: May your money perish with you, because you thought to buy the gift of God through money" and so forth (Acts 8:17-20). This is the Simon who before had renounced the Devil and his ministers and all of his works; this is the Simon who accepted baptism from the apostle Philip; but although praiseworthy to this point, afterward he is pitiable. For falling short of the aim of such favor and being judged unworthy of ordination, he began to wage war against the apostles, no longer acknowledging those performing works, no longer acknowledging the one who begat him, forgetting all of them altogether. Simon Magus's story ends in Acts of the Apostles with his rebuke by Peter; by the late second century he was imagined to have turned against the church and become the founder of all heresies.

Not long ago a disciple, and now an enemy. What did you suffer, my good man? Who enraged you in this way? Who bore you up to this frenzy? Why did you give yourself over completely to the Evil One, <42> so that your entire heart has been blinded and no longer receives the instruction of the apostles, but you consider yourself to be more righteous than the apostles?

Now until his death he didn't stop waging war against the apostles, and he didn't hesitate to cross from Samaria to Rome and to work there together with the Devil and to wage war against Christ. We have shown through these matters the originator of the heresies: and it was sufficient through these to persuade those who had been deceived whose disciples they are, for whom they are zealots, whose work they pursue, on whose account they fight against Christ. But in order that we might put them to shame even more, we shall persuade them that even until today they are occupied with his teaching. And taking this demonstration from their very selves, we shall refute them from their own refutations.

12. For just as the Church which is catholic and apostolic preserves the genealogy of Christ, so too the heresies keep the succession of Simon. diadochēn tou Simōnos (διαδοχὴν τοῦ Σίμωνος) For it has been written in the book kept among them, which they call the Acts of Peter, that a certain Gemellos became a true disciple of Simon, and he remained by his side until his final shameful act and his death. that is, Simon's death; in Acts of Peter 32, Gemellos abandons Simon Magus, whom he had supported financially, for the apostle Peter after Simon falls from the sky, breaks his leg, and dies. And his name until even now is imposed upon the heresy of the False Renunciants, for they are called after him Gemellites. Amphilochius alone refers to a heresy of "Gemellites" (Gemellitai, Γεμελλῖται), and also uniquely refers to Gemellos as a founder of a heresy after Simon's death. This Gemellos, after the fall of Simon and his bitter death—for the death [196] of sinners is evil (Ps 33:22)—not finding an opportunity for harming or deceiving anyone in Rome, as the record <43> testifies—for there is no such heresy in it—arrived in these parts and, finding a simple and susceptible people, unfamiliar with deceit, began to teach and ordain and defame all of the mysteries of the Christians and called himself a Renunciant. And he was the heresiarch who succeeded Simon in heresy, not receiving baptism from anyone, nor being called a Christian at all, but having been made a disciple to Simon alone, and deriving advantage from his things. This was the heresy's beginning. As time went on, some people were deceived because the leaders of Christ's churches were being driven away by those who were persecuting the Church at that timeas they were a single heresy they seemed to escape notice.

Division into Encratites and Apotactites

Once again their leader, the Devil, having them once and for all in hand and obedient in all things, divided them into two like this: Some who were found among them possessing animals were held in abomination by those who didn't; those who didn't expelled them Bonis: those who didn't rejected them as impure... as impure and profane from so great a renunciation, and they alone inherited the appellation of the founder of their destruction, Gemellos. But the Devil cut them apart once more: controlling them once and for all he used them in place of a game. When he found some among them <44> wearing sack-cloth he divided them from those wearing wool garments, as from those who are impious. Amphilochius's narrative of the rise of two heresies—Apotactites and Encratites—is a bit fuzzy, but here, as before, the issue seems to be levels of rigor with regard to vegetarianism: one group rejects wearing any animal product, including wool. But the Devil had not yet gotten his fill of deception against them. Once again he split up those cloaking themselves with the false name of renunciation. For a while there the Devil had some pretext through which he was producing a separation among them; from a pretext of quadrupeds or sack-cloth division took place among them. (But as it is there is no pretext at all for separation, for they're all the same: they all bear the name of Simon or Gemellos, not that of Christ, they are "Renunciants," Apotaktitai (Ἀποτακτῖται); Amphilochius seems to reject the division of the heretics by dismissing them as all equally and comparably deluded. and all successors of Simon and Gemellos.) And what is the division? What is the cause? Tell us, so we might know! You renounced Christ and all of his mysteries, and then each other when you could no longer find anything else to renounce! Once and for all bereft of all good things, they renounce each other. Abominating each other and separating from each other as if from enemies they think they have been separated, which they label "renunciation."

13. Let us see also the other form they have coughed up, like [197] something useless. What sort of name do they invent for themselves after they have been cast out from so great a renunciation? So all the same they easily find a name for themselves: for by calling themselves "Abstinents" Enkratitas (Ἐγκρατίτας); the "Abstinents" are apparently the stricter of the two groups they stand apart from the others. Having been separated from each other, they have an implacable hostility against them, so that we see their <45> "abstinence": they abstain from certain people! But to claim abstinence or renunciation from reason Bonis: or renunciation from rationales is neither wondrous nor conducive to labor: but not only is reason sought, Bonis: not only does someone seek reason but also the deed. For the Lord says in the gospels: "Why do you call me, Lord, Lord, but you don't do what I say?" (Luke 6:46), and Isaiah the prophet: "This people honors me with their lips, but deep in their hearts they pull away from me, in vain do they worship me" and so forth (Isa 29:13/Matt 15:8-9). So the Lord included all the force of the Old and New Testaments in two commandments, to wit: "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your might and all your intellect, and your neighbor as yourself" (Luke 10:27). Do they even keep these commandments? But by no means will anyone believe the claims of the thinkers unless he observes in you the fruits of the earth. For you are indeed prepared to claim great things and through them to deceive the unsteady. Now above we showed that Simon himself, once he defected from the apostles, said that he was "the power of God" (Acts 8:10). Amphilochius is confusing the canonical Acts of the Apostles, where Simon claims to be a "power of God" before encountering Philip and the other apostles, and the noncanonical Acts of Peter supposedly used by the heretics, where Simon persists in this claim until his final defeat by Peter. Observe how, in short, he found a name for himself that was capable of impressing childish people. And his disciple Gemellos created apostasy when he preached renunciation. <46> So perhaps consequently you too, in following your teachers, claim these things but are satisfied with a word instead of the deeds. For you say: "I love God, I love my neighbor, and I am an Abstinent." First of all, if you wanted to abstain, what would you want to abstain from? Bonis restores: from what would you want to be able to abstain? Here's how you could help yourself and your neighbor: for we find in the Scriptures that the sinful are forgiven by the just while the just are condemned by the sinful. And we could say a lot about these matters, but let's stick to our proposition. Bonis: but someone might ask after the proposition:

The heretics' false superiority

14. Whom do you call "neighbor"? The one whom you love? Bonis (for whom this follow directly from "after the proposition:"): Whom do you say is the neighbor you love? By all means, according to the Lord's word every person is your neighbor: for the Gospel makes this clear. If you loved your neighbor you wouldn't run away from the Church, leaving all of them behind together, acting like the Pharisee and the one sick from his arrogance, judging everyone [198] by his logic and only considering himself righteous. For that one, going up into the Temple, was praying these things: "I thank you, God, that I am not like the rest of the people, robbers, unjust, adulterers, like this tax-collector; I fast twice on the Sabbath, I pay the tithe on everything, as much as I own" (Luke 18:11-12). He wasn't lying about any of these things, but even if he seemed to tell the truth, he is condemned: not because he <47> fasted or tithed on his belongings, but because he judged all of humanity by his own logic. The tax-collector who is a sinner, striking his breast (the source of his evil thoughts), logismōn (λογισμῶν) not adding up the righteous deeds of his belly like the Pharisee, Amphilochius draws a negative comparison between heretical food restrictions and Jewish dietary laws; he repeats this comparison below when he mocks the idea of God "weighing bellies" instead of "testing hearts." but not daring to raise his eyes up to heaven, said: "God, forgive me, a sinner" (Luke 18:13). The Lord replies: "I say to you Amen," because the tax-collector went down having been made righteous beyond that Pharisee (Luke 18:14). And in order that no one might think he said these things about both of the persons, it continues: "for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and everyone who humbles himself will be exalted" (ibid.). Bonis lacks the second half of this citation (after "will be humbled") Do you see how the confession of sins made the tax-collector righteous, and how the adding up of righteous deeds condemned the Pharisee? But if someone should inquire carefully, those proceeding into supposed abstinence are also more impious than that Pharisee! For even if he devalued humans, nevertheless he went into the Temple with the whole people and rendered worship to God; but the Devil has puffed them up to such an extent that they disparage the very Church of Christ. And what kind of defense will they make on the Day of Judgment? By all means the Lord will say to them:

"I was eating with tax-collectors and sinners and when I sat down with them I did not become a sinner; but you <48> abominated all of my people as sinners. Perhaps none of you was in righteousness; you found no one equal in honor to yourselves, you penetrated into everyone's hearts, you have read everyone's wicked thoughts. logismous (λογισμοὺς) You know that God tests hearts, he doesn't weigh bellies! Let's grant that you have convicted my people as sinful, not hewing to my judgment but condemning everyone in advance. Why do you convict my Church? What sort of sin do you accuse her of? What harm has the altar done to you? And you have abandoned it!"

But what will they do? Impiety has arrived at the judge himself: for not only are they puffed up against all of the people, but even against the master's creation. For they call it sinful. For as long as they were themselves, as long as they maintained what had been given Bonis: they maintained in the Church Christ's mystery under constant favor by the constant favor of Christ to the Church, [199] the holy things were holy and he sanctified them through participation. According to Ficker, at this point in the manuscript "the first half of the bottom eight lines, about 18-20 letters, are pasted over (überklept)," leaving considerable gaps. My translation follows Ficker's and Datema's transcription of what is visible. (Bonis includes a few more details that do not add to or change the meaning substantively.) The numbers in brackets indicate Datema's estimation of how many letters are missing or illegible. But when [18-20] split them off he blinded their hearts: these same holy things
[18-20] impure […] their love: for he said this:
[18-20] "...your neighbor as yourself" (Lev 19:18) <49>
[18-20] the Word: your neighbor not
[18-20] you have condemned: this is your
[18-20] is abstinence, wickedly
[18-20] I say you are more hard-hearted than the demons [12-14] in the Church of Christ and in his holy mysteries, certain ones disturbed by evil spirits (Acts 5:16) and those who are children of the Church, those who have this gift, who are rebuked by demons. And then let them see the unclean spirit hardened before it goes out, as they call on nothing else but the holy and fearsome name of Christ and thus drive out the bitter demon: demons hearing the name of Christ shudder and, unable to bear the fearsomeness of the mystery, they run away.

15. Now heretics blaspheme in various ways. But since no neighbor has been found for them in the churches of the world until today, no bishop of God performing the service at the altar, no ecclesiastical solitary monazōn ekklēsiastikōs (μονάζων ἐκκλησιαστικῶς) who has renounced property and spends his life in fasts and vigils, no virgin, prudent with virginity, holding on to her oil (cf. Matt 25:4), which is the anointment of baptism: no, they think their neighbor happens to be those Bonis: ... taken captive together with them by the Devil, pay attention if they maintain this. Even if they hold to this... taken captive together with them by the Devil. Pay attention: even if they hold to this, we should fully assure them from the matters at hand that the Devil does not hold to conscience or care for his own <50> disciples; but in shifty and diverse ways he divides them. Not only does he aim to separate some people from the Church of Christ; just like a wolf who has separated sheep from the fold divides them limb from limb and doesn't care for them, since he has no compassion, so also the Devil, whenever he divides some people from the Church, he divides them variably and carelessly, so they will never come to their senses and return to Christ's fold. And you can see once more Datema omits this palin (πάλιν) the so-called Abstinents divided and separated from each other Another section of the manuscript is damaged and illegible here, and some sections have been restored by Ficker and Datema; Datema provides the estimated number of missing letters for each unrestored lacuna in brackets. Bonis fills in: "once more the so-called Abstinents, not understanding the Gospel, proclaiming abstinence in its words, that "every city or house divided against itself cannot stand" (Matt 12:25). So such ones are tearing the churches apart from each other, while the remnant of love remains in us. In this way the Psalm says: 'God is recognized...'" and so forth.
[11] understanding the Gospel
[6-7] that a whole house "divided against itself, once separated can stand" (Matt 12:25).
[11] Those torn asunder in so great a fashion from the Church
[11] the remnants of love in us, moreover he said: "God is recognized in Judea, in [200] Israel his name is great, and his dwelling place is in Zion" (Ps 75:2-3). Zion is the same mountain on which the city was built: "The Lord from Zion will bless you, and good things for those in Jerusalem" (Ps 127:5).

Heretics as Samaritans

But even though in various ways Moses wrote the same things, not to offer sacrifices anywhere else, <51> still Jeroboam the son of Nabaoth, ignoble, not fearing God, who forgot the Law and the Prophets, he tore the people away from Jerusalem and, teaching apostasy, he established a law among them not to go up to Jerusalem, not to offer there the services which the Law commanded, not to heed the Scriptures, not even to look upon the house of God, supposing that if the people went up to Jerusalem and heeded God's commands, they would be associated with the house of God and pay honor to the lawful king and abandon him. So what does he do on account of lust for power and empty deceit? So that it might seem right for him to rule over the people, he sets up two golden calves in the hills and says: "These are your gods, Israel, who brought you forth from the land of Egypt (1 Kgs 12:28): worship them, don't go up to Jerusalem." And establishing these laws for the people he separated them from God and Jerusalem.

16. You see what vainglory does, what arrogance and pride accomplish? vainglory is kenodoxia (κενοδοξία), arrogance is alazoneia (ἀλαζονεία), and pride is huperēfania (ὑπερηφανία) He was roused up against the lawful king, he was then constrained by the disease of selfishness also to act impiously toward God himself. And what then? He names himself and the people "Samaritan." Now Samaritan in the Hebrew language is "keeper of the Law." Amphilochius was one of several late ancient Christian authors to think through contemporary issues by reciting a history of the Samaritans: see now Matthew Chalmers, "Representations of Samaritans in Late Antique Jewish and Christian Texts," Ph.D. dissertation available here. So did he apply the name "Samaritan" to himself consistently or was it a lie? If <52> you were a "keeper of the Law," you would keep the Law: you would go up to the shrine of God, you would offer there first-fruits and tithes and all the prayers, as God commanded through Moses, This phrase is Ficker's conjecture to fill in a lacuna of about 18-20 letters. and you would truly be a keeper of the Law! But just the opposite, you drew his people away from God, you set up idols, and you call yourself a keeper of the Law. By all means they are keepers of the Law who remained in Jerusalem and kept the commands of the Law and the Prophets. But it wasn't enough just to assign the false name to himself, but he says that the people of God who remained in Jerusalem are impure and he abominates them with all his might "as abominable and impure" (Job 15:16). He doesn't touch anyone who is of the people of God, [201] nor has he used any vessel which was previously used by the people of God. A primary point of comparison between the Samaritans and the heretics for Amphilochius appears to be scrupulosity about vessels: the Samaritans in Amphilochius's own day were known to refuse to use vessels "contaminated" by non-Samaritans while the heretics reject the church vessels as "contaminated" by wine. Why do I talk about whether he abominated the Jews? They also turn away every Christian, even until today, and do not lend their own cup or plate to them, but they say even their vessels are contaminated by <53> people. And so each of us might know to what extent they have strayed, to Christ himself the Samaritan woman said first in disagreement about Jerusalem: "Our fathers worship on that mountain; and how do you say that in Jerusalem is the place where we should worship?" (John 4:20) About the water, as he said to her: "Give me something to drink from the well," she said to him: "And how do you ask to drink from me, I who am a Samaritan woman?" (John 4:9). You see that she didn't want to give it to him, so that he wouldn't contaminate her well, as she supposed: the matter is clear.

17. Who doesn't recognize the Samaritans among us? Those who have turned away from Jerusalem—that is, Christ's Church—who have established a law no longer to offer prayer or first-fruits to God in Jerusalem, nor to heed the Scriptures or the teachings which have been given in the churches to the shepherds from the Holy Spirit, but to be separated and alienated completely from the people of God, assigning falsely distinguished names to themselves. Just as that one [Jeroboam], with full impiety, called himself "keeper of the Law," so they, who have denied the faith which they received in the Church, have called themselves Abstinents and Renunciants. They should call themselves Transgressors, parabatas (παραβάτας); perhaps because it sounds a bit like "Samaritans," Samareitas (σαμαρείτας)? they have transgressed the covenants with God. So where shall we place each? They were <54> baptized in the Church by the bishops of God; after baptism they were fed on the holy body and the precious blood of Christ. But do they keep these traditions? If someone denies one of them, he has denied all of them. So do they keep the three: baptism, body, and blood? One bishop handed over the trinity of mysteries to you: you can't hold on to one but let go of another. If one person were baptizing you and another giving you the body and another the blood, you might say: "Two of them gave to me truly, but the third was playing a trick on me." But as it is you received all the mysteries from one bishop. If you say he is Christ's bishop, keep the mysteries, so you won't become a Transgressor. But if you don't say he is bishop, you're saying he's a catechumen and alien to Christ's name, for you haven't been baptized anywhere at all. And just as those blaspheming against [202] the Son of God are impious against the Father himself and against the Holy Spirit, and Bonis lacks the clause "likewise those...Son Jesus Christ," presumably by mistake likewise those who don't believe in the Holy Spirit don't believe in the all-holy Father and in his all-holy Son Jesus Christ, you can find it to be the case in this way against the trinity of the mysteries. If someone has rejected one of them, he has rejected the trinity; so when you reject the mysteries of Christ and stand apart from the Church you should rightly be called Transgressor. Now let me convince you that you happen to be more impious than those who were transgressors during the persecutions. Those who often weren't bearing <55> the lashes were compelled through bodily weakness to deny, and they are pitiable and worthy of many laments; but nevertheless, spending their whole lives repenting, they often lamented so that, at some time for them, God might deem them worthy of being reconciled and they might "enter into the sanctuary" (Heb 10:10). But the Devil darkened you to such an extent that you do not seek out the fellowship of the sanctuary but say the opposite, so that "blasphemy" might no longer go into your mouth, the fearsome and holy blood of Christ.

18. See, then, from every side you are shown to be reinventing not only Samaria, but also transgression! Just as the Samaritan through habit produced apostasy and was refuted by circumcision that he was at one time an Israelite, so also you, even if you have separated from the Church or innovated transgression, you are nevertheless refuted by the seal: for you received baptism in Christ's Church. Where does your great similarity to Samaria come from? Let's grant that you separated, let's grant that you established a law, for those who have been tripped up by you, no longer to set foot in the house of God, no longer to listen to the bishops who baptized you and made you a Christian. Where does your fixation with vessels come from? Out of what kind of tradition? Were the apostles, while they were preaching the Word of God and traveling around the world, carrying around pots and plates, since everyone was Greek and everyone was raving in idolatry? Rather, since they had Christ with them, they knew <56> that an idol in the world is nothing, but everything is pure to the pure (Tit 1:15) and that he is sanctified through God's word and prayer (1 Tim 4:5); and as they went often into the house of a Greek, if they were able to convince the master of the house to believe in God, immediately they made the house a church. This happened in our very own city when the apostle Paul was in the house of Onesiphoros; A reference to the opening chapters of the noncanonical Acts of Paul and Thecla set in the city of Iconium, and one of the internal clues that this refutation was composed by Amphilochius, who was bishop there. the apostle didn't ask [203] which vessels were clean and which were unclean. But this very house, as we said before, he made a church. Acts of Paul and Thecla 2:1 refers to "the church in the house of Onesiphoros."

The heretics refuted from nature

So we might convince them that they reject vessels because of vanity and arrogance, and that to so great an extent their ignorant hearts were darkened and although saying that they were wise they were made fools (Rom 1:21-22), Bonis: let them actually look at the bees producing their honeycomb let them by all means look at the bees producing their honeycomb: how they are carried onto everything, not only on the plants and flowers, but also on the freshly-slaughtered meats and on the blood. And you can especially see during the period of the vintage how they rest upon the grapes and draw the sweet wine from the grapes and, after all this, they press on to their own task, and wisely completing it according to the wisdom granted to them by their creator. But they do not observe the bee-keepers themselves pouring pericheontas (περιχέοντας) is Ficker's suggestion, accepted by Datema, for the syntactically problematic but visually more evocative perirreontas (περιῤῥέοντας), "dripping"; Bonis leaves "dripping" decent wine on the honeycomb and on the bees. But since it's sweet, they eat it [i.e., honey] gladly, since they are gluttonous, and preparing "wine" out of it they <57> justify their own drunkenness. If you refrain from vessels because of purity, you should rather refrain from honey and not partake of any plate or cup which is able to give you any pleasure at all. Certainly you hear from the Scripture that honey is impure: even on the altar, the Law says, it shall not be offered (cf. Lev 2:11).

What kind of reason do you have for eating olive oil? Don't you see, or haven't you heard, that those who traffic in this business cast it on the newly flayed skins, and so, after many days, once they have emptied the skins and squeezed them out they sell the olive oil? Amphilochius refers to the practice of using olive oil to soften leather goods during the tanning process; since (as he claims) the leather-makers sell the used olive oil, the supposedly vegetarian "Abstinents" are consuming oil contaminated by animal remains. Several rabbinic texts refer to using oil to treat hides, such as m. Sheviit 8:9; see the entry on "Oil" in Fred Rosner, Encyclopedia of Medicine in the Bible and the Talmud; my thanks to Yonatan Miller for providing the references. Don't you hear those who grind the olive, lubricating the so-called axle with pig-fat and then tossing in the olive, Pliny, Historia naturalis 28.141, notes that "men long ago used lard for greasing the axles of their vehicles" while addressing lard's medicinal utility; my thanks to Andrew McGowan for providing the reference. so that the same fat squeezed out by the instruments of those pressing the olives drips into the olive oil? But nonetheless you are clean, holding in abomination the shards of other vessels, but gladly eating from this one indiscriminately. Where pleasure is not present, that is on a plate or in a cup, you abominate them, but where there is sweetness and fattiness, you eat them gladly.

The heretics refuted from Scripture

19. And let's grant that every one of you is careful about vessels, imitating Samaria, from meats and the other things which God created for sharing among the faithful and those who know the truth (1 Tim 4:3); for what kind of reason do you refrain from <58> them and abominate them, and so blaspheme [204] the Creator? For this is not only a Samaritan tenet, but even that of the disgusting and impure heresy of the Manicheans. For their teaching is to refrain from living things. But Bonis: But you learned to maintain this from what kind of Scripture? you learned this from what kind of Scripture? Who taught you this? Haven't you heard the Scripture saying: Adam, the first man, begat two sons, Cain Bonis: Cain and his brother Abel and Abel. Now Abel tended sheep. It came into their hearts to go up and offer gifts to God. Now Cain offered up seeds but was not accepted because of his evil manner, while Abel, taking from the first-born of his flocks and their fat, brought them as a gift to God. It says, "He looked upon Abel and upon his gifts, but upon Cain and his sacrifices he did not attend to them" (Gen 4:4-5). See how  God named the first-born and the fats "gifts" because they were offering up genuinely, but the seeds of Cain, because they were not from the first-fruits, he named "sacrifices," in order that he might persuade you, the faithless heretic, that even seeds have some life-force, which we have shown you quite clearly elsewhere, because God, when he accepted the meats, disdained the seeds. By all means also do you judge Noah to be unfit or separate him out from your abstinence and your renunciation? Because after he saved the seed of every species from the flood because of his own righteousness, <59> when he went out from the ark he did no other work but first "he built an altar to God and the Lord smelled the pleasing odor" (Gen 8:20-21) and he promised to the righteous man that he would not cause a flood upon the earth again. You see the sacrifice received, you see how he expressed reverence to God so that, as Bonis: as long as this age exists long as this age remained, he would no longer bring such great wrath upon the world. And God said to him: "I shall give you all things just like the green plants, except meat in living blood you shall not eat; for even your blood I shall seek out from all the animals and from the hand of a man Bonis lacks: and brother I shall seek out the life of a man and brother I shall seek out the life of a man" (Gen 9:3-5). He allowed for meats, he forbade strangled blood.

20. Now the New Testament puts the seal on this, so you won't think there is one lawmaker of the Old Testament and another of the New. You can see: This section until "Since discord arose" is a reconstruction by Ficker. Bonis has: When the apostles were gathered in Jerusalem, and the brothers went down, Saint Paul and Barnabas, it seemed right to send them into Antioch of Syria to confirm those out of the circumcision. Some of the faithful out of the circumcision were present and they taught that proselytes should keep the teachings and commandments, saying: "If you are not circumcised according to the custom of Moses, it's impossible to be saved." when the apostles were gathered in Jerusalem, when Saint Paul and Barnabas went down into Syrian Antioch and confirmed that the brethren should keep the teachings and commands of the apostles, some of the faithful coming out of the circumcision taught the [205] proselytes, saying: "If you are not circumcised <60> according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved. Since discord arose and no small confusion among them, they arranged for Paul and Barnabas to go up, and some others from among them, to the apostles and elders in Jerusalem concerning this question" (Acts 15:1-2). When they went up and reported on the conversion of the gentiles (Acts 15:3) and the advancement of the churches, they explained to them also concerning this question. The apostles who were gathered for it dispatched them in this way: "The apostles and the elders and the brethren to those brethren who are throughout Antioch and Cilicia and Syria, brethren from the gentiles, greetings. Since we have heard that some from among us have disturbed you, troubling your minds, although we have given them no instructions, it has seemed right to us, as we are of one accord, to send chosen men to you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, people who have handed over their lives on behalf of the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. So we have sent forth Judas and Silas and they will report these things to you by word of mouth. For it has seemed right to the Holy Spirit and to us that nothing more <61> difficult should be imposed upon you than these necessary things: to refrain from meat offered to idols, blood and strangling and fornication. You do well keeping yourselves from these things. Farewell" (Acts 15:23-29). This is the very letter of the apostles which was written by the Holy Spirit through the evangelist Luke. Since the Holy Spirit knew that some people, coming into such great madness, aponoia (ἀπόνοια) would not hesitate to falsely accuse the apostles—which has happened—they write this letter while under him: That is, under the influence of the Holy Spirit not dissolving marriage, not preventing eating meat or drinking wine, but, just as was written before, that every Christian refrain from eating idol-meat and blood and strangling and fornication. Above you learned from God himself that you should eat all meat like green plants; here you have learned from the apostles that you should refrain from some things.

21. Why do you dare to blaspheme God's creations and through them dishonor the Creator? If God made everything in wisdom and praised it, saying "It is very good" (Gen 1:31), and when gifts and fruits were offered up he accepted them and blessed the ones bringing them and allowed them to eat, why are you stupid and foolhardy? For by all means just as you condemn people who partake in meats, so you blaspheme the Creator himself. Why [206] did he make them? You probably abominate him and condemn his alien righteousness because he also accepted <62> sacrifices; maybe also you denounce holy Abraham because he offered up sacrifices to God and when he received the angels he didn't welcome them through plants but, taking a calf from the herd, he commanded that it be prepared with butter and milk (cf. Gen 18:7-8). And so he entertained the angels, and not just the angels, but Christ himself: this is also worthy of amazement, that even before the incarnate dispensation he sanctified his own creations and shared in them, so that no one might think that the Father thinks one thing and the Son something else, just as the heresies of the Manicheans and the Marcionites hallucinate, and so what was said would be clear: the Son of God was present with Abraham. At that time, when he was sitting under the tent at midday and watching them approaching, so that no stranger might escape his notice, he saw three men coming and he greeted them and he didn't say: "Lords, if I have found favor before you" but: "If I have found favor before you, do not pass by your servant" (Gen 18:3). You see how the one who ate meats took such care in welcoming the passers-by with meats? You see how a certain master and those enslaved to him recognize a pure heart? Truly, blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God (Matt 5:8). Because <63> of this, then, after a little while the Lord himself, when he sent off the angels to Sodom and Gomorrah, says: "I shall not hide from Abraham my servant what I am doing" (Gen 18:17). What kind of friend reveals secrets mustēria (μυστήρια) like this to a friend as God revealed them to Abraham? Now I think even until today no such [friendship] has existed from God for the so-called Abstinents and Renunciants, as existed for Abraham, who ate meat and slept with a woman.

What will they also say about Isaac, who ate the kid-meat that was prepared by his wife Rebecca and was brought in by his son Jacob, how when he ate the food and drank the wine he blessed Jacob, saying: "May God grant you out of the dew of the heaven and from the fat of the earth and may nations be enslaved to you and may rulers worship you and may you be the lord of your brother" (Gen 27:28-29). Not one word of this blessing failed to come true, but the entire fatherly blessing went out upon Jacob. Now what about Jacob himself and all of the holy ones, [207] I mean Moses and Aaron and all of the law-abiding holy ones who came after who were well-pleasing to God, how all of them ate meat and thanked the Creator? Holy Samuel himself, who was delivered at three-years old to the house of God and <64> was nourished in the Holy of Holies, partakes in God's creations and, when he anointed Saul as king, he allowed him and all the people to eat. And some prophet [says] about them: "Moses and Aaron were among his priests and Samuel among those calling upon his name; they called upon the Lord, and he has heeded them; in a pillar of smoke he spoke to them" (Ps 98:6-7). And consequently you can say about all the holy ones, how with thanks they all partook in God's creations and glorified the Creator. But so that we might not make our readers more hesitant through a host of words, it was enough for us to show that God received sacrifices from the holy ones and allowed them to eat with thanks and devotion.

22. But if one of the holy ones refrained from foods for a little while, he didn't refrain from them as unclean. For what kind of reward comes from refraining from something unclean? But each of the devout ones [refrains] Bonis adds refrains from whatever is pleasant and permitted, as for instance someone refrains from his wife even though God permits him to partake of a wife. The awkwardness and unpleasantness of this construction is found in Amphilochius's Greek: metalambanein gunaikos (μεταλαμβάνειν γυναικός), the same term he uses throughout for partaking of food. But it's because of the better crowns of purity that he remains pure by refraining from his wife, for no one was crowned by refraining from adultery or <65> fornication. For if he did these things, the law of God and of humans would condemn him. Once again, someone refrains from foods which God created for sharing Bonis: created for sharing with thanks among the faithful and those who know the truth (1 Tim 4:3), but nevertheless by refraining from these, he doesn't refrain from them as from something unclean: otherwise he would have no reward. For no one refraining from idol-meat when there is no constraint pressuring him Amphilochius leaves room for martyrs' receiving a reward from refraining from meat offered to idols. was praised or expected a reward concerning this, but in these holy fasts he is refraining from bread itself and water. By the same logic if one of the holy men refrained from some marriage or foods or wine: you can't find in the Scriptures of God any one of the holy ones refraining from all things, lest it give a foothold to heretics. But even if they praise some holy person because of purity, on account of [208] food they condemn him! Once again, if they found someone refraining from wine, they would abominate him because of marriage; and in no way do you find any of the holy ones agreeing with their teaching. But even so they have something to boast about concerning abstinence from foods: for just as we showed the holy patriarchs offering to God from his creations so they have Esau, neither offering sacrifices to God nor tasting meat or drinking wine, but eating lentil porridge and thus giving up his birthright. The apostle testifies to this <66> when he says: "neither a fornicator nor a profane person, like Esau, who in exchange for a single bite of food gave up his birthright. For you know that afterward, when he wanted to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, and he did not find any occasion for repentance" (Heb 12:16-17). There he calls gluttony "fornication."

23. So these are from the Old Testament: we Bonis: we shall also prove shall also demonstrate to them from the Gospels themselves that Christ and the apostles partook in foods and by eating did not forbid them. First, after the Lord was born from the ever-virgin Mary and circumcised on the eighth day according to the Law of Moses, and reared by Joseph and the holy virgin Mary, also in the Temple of God he underwent as many things as the Law prescribed, until he was thirty years old. For it was impossible for him not to go up each year for the festival of eating the Pascha, which was the lamb and what comes with it. And the Lord himself bears witness to this when he says: "I did not come to abolish the Law but to fulfill it" (Matt 5:17). When the time was fulfilled, and having come to baptism and fasting for forty days and nights, later he grew hungry (Matt 4:2), in order that he might fulfill each thing, because he scrupulously bore humanity and he came to the earth not as a semblance nor as an illusion. "semblance" is dokēsei (δοκήσει) and "illusion" is phantasia (φαντασίᾳ), terms frequently used by heresiologists to criticize heretics (like the Marcionites and Manicheans referred to above) who suggest Christ was not incarnate in a real, human body. He refrained from everything on account of the fast, in order that he might teach fasting; but he didn't refrain <67> as if from unclean things, just as we said above. For after a little while he is found partaking. So through hunger he showed that the body which he bore needed food; for often, when he was invited by tax-collectors and sinners and by Simon the Pharisee, he ate what was set before him and he healed their sick (Matt 14:14). And in order that he might convince everyone that nothing that is permitted in the Law should be guarded against, he himself bears witness [209] and the truth could not be denied: for he says thus when he was rebuking the hardness of the people: "John came neither eating nor drinking, and you say: He has a demon!" And then about himself: "The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and you say: Behold, a person who eats and who drinks wine, a friend of tax-collectors and sinners" (Matt 11:18-19). What will still dare to fight against God and to deny the truth? And in another place the Lord himself [says]: "It is not what goes in that defiles a person, but what go out from the heart that contaminates the person" (Matt 15:11, 18). And when he sent forth his disciples to the preaching he instructed them: "Eat the things that are set before you and heal their sick" (Luke 10:8-9). Now he didn't say to them to bother themselves about whether the pot and plate were clean, but simply eat the things set before you. <68> How were the multitude of followers satisfied by him? I mean the five thousand and the four thousand. How? With the loaves, and he handed out fishes to them. For he ordered the crowds to take a seat and, blessing the loaves and the fishes, he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples to the crowds (Matt 15:35-36). I wanted to ask the heretic: "If you were there, would you have accepted Christ's blessing or would you have rejected the blessing because of the fishes?" By all means you might abominate Christ himself, because he provided living things to the people as food and refreshment! But nevertheless those who are always resisting Christ dare to say that he didn't multiply the fishes. First of all, who are you to argue with God? Will what is molded say to the molder, Why did you make me this way? (Rom 9:20) Don't you shudder at the mystery? Aren't you overwhelmed by the miracle, that from five loaves and two fishes so many multitudes were satisfied? And likewise from seven loaves and from two fishes he did the same thing? But, in order that the every shameless mouth might be shut, Mark the evangelist said that he also multiplied the fishes. Mark 6:41 specifically mentions breaking apart and sharing the fish, whereas Matt 14:19 only mentions breaking loaves. Luke 9:16 says "he broke them," which could be read as just the loaves. John 6:11 suggests that the fish were distributed with the bread. Whether any vegetarian Christian actually argued that Christ only shared the loaves and not the fishes seems unlikely since the idea is so easily refuted. Will you not now stop disputing with the Lord? Or will you persist in your shamelessness?

24. How did you learn to avoid the egg as harmful? Whom have you ever known of that has been condemned or destroyed by eating an egg? Or where <69> does God in the Scriptures forbid eating an egg? You fear the egg more than every fornication and adultery and although living alone you gladly cohabitate with strange women, not considering it damaging, "living alone" here is katamonas (καταμόνας). Amphilochius refers here to the practice variously known as "spiritual marriage," syneisaktism or agapetae, that is, mixed-sex monastic cohabitation. John Chrysostom, around roughly the same time, wrote a pair of treatises against this practice, and Jerome condemned it in his letter "On guarding virginity" to the virgin Eustochium. an egg [210] you guard against like an abomination! Maybe out of this great indifference you don't perceive the Lord himself saying: "All who have looked with lust" (Matt 5:28), perchance. How will you escape God's judgment by always cohabiting with strange women? "Flee from woman as from the presence of a snake," as Scripture says. Amphilochius is citing Sir 21:2 which does not say "flee from woman" (gunaikos,γυναικὸς), but rather "feel from sin" (hamartias, ἁμαρτίας), another indication that Amphilochius is citing Scripture from memory. He may also be thinking of verses like Sir 25:24: "the origin of sin is from a woman." And: "who will bear fire on his breast and not burn up his clothes? Or who will walk on coals and not burn his feet?" (Prov 6:27-28) And it continued, saying in this way: "whoever goes in to a strange woman In its original context this phrase gunaika allotrian (γυναῖκα ἀλλοτρίαν) almost certainly means "another man's wife." will not go unpunished among the wicked," and so forth (Prov 6:29 and 11:21). For whether she is a virgin or married (Prov 6:26), she is strange to you. And you have been taught to flee from them, not from the egg! But let us grant that it does harm you (which is impossible); but nevertheless through what rationales do you entrap these wretched little women, saying: "I am not harmed." For if you were without flesh and didn't bear a body, then really you would not suffer. But nevertheless through scandalizing many people you might fall down into the punishment of God who clearly says: "It is better for a millstone to be hung around his <70> neck and for him to be cast into the sea than that he scandalize one of my little ones" (Matt 18:6). We shall show you that Lord accepts the egg and calls it good: "If a son should ask his father for bread, would he give him a stone? And if he should ask for fish, would he give him a snake? And if he should ask for an egg, would he give him a scorpion?" And immediately he goes on: "So if you, who are evil, know how to provide good gifts to your offspring," and so forth (Matt 7:9-11 and Luke 11:11-13). Do you see how the bread and the egg and the fish he calls good, since they are creations of a good God? You contend through your vanity to show that the Creator made bad things, but no one is good (according to the gospel) except the one God (Luke 18:19). Because he is good he created all things good ungrudgingly. Now these things were sufficient to convince all people that the Creator of the university made all things for use and refreshment for human beings and that he sanctified his own creations, just as the Word has shown. Or perhaps "as the treatise (ho logos, ὁ λόγος) has shown"?

25. But we shall teach the offspring of the Church toward greater things and we shall refute those who are always opposing and contradicting God. We shall convince each one that our Lord Jesus Christ until <71> the Passion ate meat and never through his entire incarnate [211] dispensation did he abominate these things or forbid eating them. What does the Gospel say? "On the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread his disciples came to him, when they were sacrificing the Pascha, and said: Rabbi, where do you want us to prepare for you to eat the Pascha?" (Mark 14:12) Who is the person—or rather, the faithful person—who does not know this Pascha? For he showed through the occasion and through the Feast of Unleavened Bread the lamb being sacrificed, which the Law showed; for it was necessary for the Law to be fulfilled through this Pascha "this Pascha" refers to Jesus and for the new covenant to receive its beginning through the true Lamb. And when the apostles were sent they prepared the lawful Pascha, Bonis: ... the lawful Pascha, which the Lord desired to eat with his own disciples; for he says: "I have eagerly..." about which the Lord says with his own disciples: "I have eagerly desired to eat this Pascha with you before my Passion" (Luke 22:15), since in the passing times of his incarnate dispensation each year he ate the Pascha. For it was impossible to neglect this: for it has been written in Luke: "When he went up to Jerusalem as was customary for the festival" (Luke 2:42). But nevertheless not with so much eagerness did he eat it, because his own Pascha was still a long way off; but when the favor of the human race drew near, and he was going to hand himself over on behalf of the life of the world, with great eagerness he ate the Pascha with his disciples. <72> So it has been proven by this that our Lord Jesus Christ and his disciples until his Passion partook in his creations; rather, the Lord himself through his own goodness and dispensation sanctified Bonis: all of his own creations his own creations. And he did this until the Passion.

26. But what about after the resurrection? So that no one might disbelieve in the dispensation nor suppose that the Lord was dwelling among the human race apart from flesh, after rising from the dead he appears to his disciples and he shows them the marks of the nails and the wound in his side, which he received from the soldier's spear. Then again afterward he showed himself to his disciples on the Sea of Tiberias (John 21:1). For holy John the evangelist says it this way: "There were together Peter and Thomas, called Didymus, and Nathaniel from Cana of Galilee" (about whom the Lord bore witness: "Behold, truly an Israelite in whom there is no deceit!" [John 1:47]); there were also the sons of Zebedee, John and James, and two other of his disciples. Simon Peter said to them: I am going fishing. They said to him: We're also coming with you. So they went out and boarded a boat right away. And on that night they caught nothing. When the next day <73> came, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples didn't know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to them: [212] Children, don't you have any fish? They answered him: No. Jesus said to them: Cast the net on the right side of the boat and you'll find some. They cast and they were no longer able to draw it up from the multitude of fish. That disciple whom Jesus loved (that is, John himself) said: It's the Lord! So Simon Peter, when he heard that it was the Lord, took a garment and girded himself, for he was naked, and he cast himself into the sea. But the other disciples came on the boat, for they were not far from the land, about 200 cubits, pulling the net of fish. So as they went up onto the land, they saw a fire set and fish and bread laid on it. Jesus said to them: Bring up from the fish which you just caught. Simon Peter went up and he brought the net onto the land full of great fish, 153 of them; and even though there were so many, the net wasn't torn. Jesus said to them: Come, have breakfast. None of the disciples dared <74> to ask him: Who are you? For they knew he was the Lord. Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and did likewise with the fish (John 21:2-13). And when they had had their breakfast, at that time subsequently he gave his commands to Peter and the other apostles, how they should be shepherds of humankind. Do you see God's goodness? Do you see the master's love of humanity? He didn't condemn the apostles nor did he accuse them nor did he lash out at them, saying: "Why did you abandon the preaching and turn to catching fish?" But he even looks out for them and calls to them and works with them toward their pursuit and he makes breakfast for them, preparing bread and fish, so he might show by this that he is the Creator of the land and the sea.

27. But what does the blessed evangelist Luke say after the resurrection? First, he says that the holy women saw tomb opened and heard from the angels: "Why do you seek out the living with the dead? He is not here, but just as he said he was raised from the dead" (Luke 24:5-6). Learning Bonis: Being informed by the angels these things from the angels, they "told this to the eleven" (Luke 24:9) disciples, that the Lord was raised from the dead. "But holy Peter, hearing this, ran to the tomb <75> and peering in he saw the linen cloth lying there and he went out, in amazement. Now two of them were walking into some village" (Luke 24:12-13). Another indication that Amphilochius is reciting biblical passages from memory, as he doesn't recall the name "Emmaus" while dictating his treatise or, presumably, bother to fill it in during the editing process. When the Lord appeared to them, refuting their disbelief [213] he taught them that it was necessary for Christ the Lord to suffer and rise (Luke 24:26). And when they returned to Jerusalem and explained to the eleven disciples how the Lord had appeared to them in the road, and while the disciples were still disturbed and discussing it, the Lord "himself stood in their midst, saying: Peace to you, it is I, don't be afraid. Quivering in terror they supposed they were seeing a spirit. And he said to them: Why are you disturbed, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? Look at my hands and my feet, that it is I: handle me and see, because a spirit doesn't have flesh and bones as you observe I have. And saying this he showed them his hands and his feet. Since they were still in disbelief at the experience and amazed he said to them: Do you have anything to eat here? They have him a piece of broiled fish and some honeycomb The honeycomb doesn't appear in the standard Greek of Luke, but is extant in some manuscripts. and <76> taking it before them he ate it" (Luke 24:36-43), in order that he might convince them also through the food that he is the same one who lived and conversed with them before the Passion.

28. Who will still dare to fight against God? Who will be carried down into such great faithlessness that he won't believe in these things? Even though everywhere it has been proven, through the Old and New Testaments, that God's creations are sanctified, whether they are offered to God or Christ when he was incarnate partook of them, through all of these his own creations are sanctified. Let the heretics stop correcting God! Saying "he did that right, but he made a mistake doing that" is not what a person in his right mind does, but someone raving and fighting against God.

Let's see whether they refrain from all living things according to the teaching of the impure Manicheans. For their leaders, once and for all having established a rule to refrain from living things on account of the impiety dwelling in them, also say that things growing from the earth are living: they have ripped Bonis: they have drawn back proof-texts proof-texts out of the Scriptures: for just as it says in Daniel: "Beasts and cattle and all the birds of the sky, bless the Lord" (Dan 3:81, 80), so it says: "All that grows from the earth, bless the Lord" (Dan 3:76). And subsequently <77> having followed their own impiety they have fallen down into the abyss of error. For it's not yet possible for those saying these things to keep living in the flesh. As a result [214] their imitators follow the teachers: for seeds have life force and bodies, we agree to this. You have made this rule for yourself, to refrain from living things; and since you resist the Lord's command, even so keep his confession as you refrain from living and alien bodies. For the Lord says in the gospels about seeds: "If it dies, it bears much fruit" (John 12:24). It is clear that something that lives dies; you, once and for all, have guarded against eating things that possess life force. Since seeds are also "alive," Amphilochius sarcastically suggests, the heretics should also stop eating plants. So too the apostle Paul: "what you sow does not come to life unless it dies; and what you sow, you don't sow the body that exists now, but a bare seed, perhaps wheat or something else. But God gives a body to it just as he wills" (1 Cor 15:36-38). You have in the Old Testament that God accepted sacrifices sincerely from the just and that all the holy ones ate meat and other creations with thanks; you were convinced through the holy gospels that….

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