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SermonIndex.net : Christian Books : Chapter XV.--The Lateness of the Revelation of Marcion's God The Question of the Place Occupied by the Rival Deities. Instead of Two Gods, Marcion Really (Although, as It Would Seem, Unconsciously) Had Nine Gods in His System.

The Five Books Against Marcion by Tertullian

Chapter XV.--The Lateness of the Revelation of Marcion's God The Question of the Place Occupied by the Rival Deities. Instead of Two Gods, Marcion Really (Although, as It Would Seem, Unconsciously) Had Nine Gods in His System.

After all, or, if you like, before all, since you have said that he has a creation of his own, and his own world, and his own sky; we shall see, indeed, about that third heaven, when we come to discuss even your own apostle. Meanwhile, whatever is the (created) substance, it ought at any rate to have made its appearance in company with its own god. But now, how happens it that the Lord has been revealed since the twelfth year of Tiberius Cæsar, while no creation of His at all has been discovered up to the fifteenth of the Emperor Severus; although, as being more excellent than the paltry works of the Creator, it should certainly have ceased to conceal itself, when its lord and author no longer lies hid? I ask, therefore, if it was unable to manifest itself in this world, how did its Lord appear in this world? If this world received its Lord, why was it not able to receive the created substance, unless perchance it was greater than its Lord? But now there arises a question about place, having reference both to the world above and to the God thereof. For, behold, if he has his own world beneath him, above the Creator, he has certainly fixed it in a position, the space of which was empty between his own feet and the Creator's head. Therefore God both Himself occupied local space, and caused the world to occupy local space; and this local space, too, will be greater than God and the world together. For in no case is that which contains not greater than that which is contained. And indeed we must look well to it that no small patches be left here and there vacant, in which some third god also may be able with a world of his own to foist himself in. Now, begin to reckon up your gods. There will be local space for a god, not only as being greater than God, but as being also unbegotten and unmade, and therefore eternal, and equal to God, in which God has ever been. Then, inasmuch as He too has fabricated a world out of some underlying material which is unbegotten, and unmade, and contemporaneous with God, just as Marcion holds of the Creator, you reduce this likewise to the dignity of that local space which has enclosed two gods, both God and matter. For matter also is a god according to the rule of Deity, being (to be sure) unbegotten, and unmade, and eternal. If, however, it was out of nothing that he made his world, this also (our heretic) will be obliged to predicate of the Creator, to whom he subordinates matter in the substance of the world. But it will be only right that he too should have made his world out of matter, because the same process occurred to him as God which lay before the Creator as equally God. And thus you may, if you please, reckon up so far, three gods as Marcion's, -- the Maker, local space, and matter. Furthermore, he in like manner makes the Creator a god in local space, which is itself to be appraised on a precisely identical scale of dignity; and to Him as its lord he subordinates matter, which is notwithstanding unbegotten, and unmade, and by reason hereof eternal. With this matter he further associates evil, an unbegotten principle with an unbegotten object, an unmade with an unmade, and an eternal with an eternal; so here he makes a fourth God. Accordingly you have three substances of Deity in the higher instances, and in the lower ones four. When to these are added their Christs -- the one which appeared in the time of Tiberius, the other which is promised by the Creator -- Marcion suffers a manifest wrong from those persons who assume that he holds two gods, whereas he implies no less than nine, though he knows it not.
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