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SermonIndex.net : Christian Books : Chapter XIII.--Christ's Connection with the Creator Shown Many Quotations Out of the Old Testament Prophetically Bear on Certain Events of the Life of Jesus--Such as His Ascent to Praying on the Mountain; His Selection of Twelve Apostles; His Changing Sim

The Five Books Against Marcion by Tertullian

Chapter XIII.--Christ's Connection with the Creator Shown Many Quotations Out of the Old Testament Prophetically Bear on Certain Events of the Life of Jesus--Such as His Ascent to Praying on the Mountain; His Selection of Twelve Apostles; His Changing Sim

Surely to Sion He brings good tidings, and to Jerusalem peace and all blessings; He goes up into a mountain, and there spends a night in prayer, and He is indeed heard by the Father. Accordingly turn over the prophets, and learn therefrom His entire course. |Into the high mountain,| says Isaiah, |get Thee up, who bringest good tidings to Sion; lift up Thy voice with strength, who bringest good tidings to Jerusalem.| |They were mightily astonished at His doctrine; for He was teaching as one who had power.| And again: |Therefore, my people shall know my name in that day.| What name does the prophet mean, but Christ's? |That I am He that doth speak -- even I.| For it was He who used to speak in the prophets -- the Word, the Creator's Son. |I am present, while it is the hour, upon the mountains, as one that bringeth glad tidings of peace, as one that publisheth good tidings of good.| So one of the twelve (minor prophets), Nahum: |For behold upon the mountain the swift feet of Him that bringeth glad tidings of peace.| Moreover, concerning the voice of His prayer to the Father by night, the psalm manifestly says: |O my God, I will cry in the day-time, and Thou shalt hear; and in the night season, and it shall not be in vain to me.| In another passage touching the same voice and place, the psalm says: |I cried unto the Lord with my voice, and He heard me out of His holy mountain.| You have a representation of the name; you have the action of the Evangelizer; you have a mountain for the site; and the night as the time; and the sound of a voice; and the audience of the Father: you have, (in short,) the Christ of the prophets. But why was it that He chose twelve apostles, and not some other number? In truth, I might from this very point conclude of my Christ, that He was foretold not only by the words of prophets, but by the indications of facts. For of this number I find figurative hints up and down the Creator's dispensation in the twelve springs of Elim; in the twelve gems of Aaron's priestly vestment; and in the twelve stones appointed by Joshua to be taken out of the Jordan, and set up for the ark of the covenant. Now, the same number of apostles was thus portended, as if they were to be fountains and rivers which should water the Gentile world, which was formerly dry and destitute of knowledge (as He says by Isaiah: |I will put streams in the unwatered ground| ); as if they were to be gems to shed lustre upon the church's sacred robe, which Christ, the High Priest of the Father, puts on; as if, also, they were to be stones massive in their faith, which the true Joshua took out of the laver of the Jordan, and placed in the sanctuary of His covenant. What equally good defence of such a number has Marcion's Christ to show? It is impossible that anything can be shown to have been done by him unconnectedly, which cannot be shown to have been done by my Christ in connection (with preceding types). To him will appertain the event in whom is discovered the preparation for the same. Again, He changes the name of Simon to Peter, inasmuch as the Creator also altered the names of Abram, and Sarai, and Oshea, by calling the latter Joshua, and adding a syllable to each of the former. But why Peter? If it was because of the vigour of his faith, there were many solid materials which might lend a name from their strength. Was it because Christ was both a rock and a stone? For we read of His being placed |for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offence.| I omit the rest of the passage. Therefore He would fain impart to the dearest of His disciples a name which was suggested by one of His own especial designations in figure; because it was, I suppose, more peculiarly fit than a name which might have been derived from no figurative description of Himself. There come to Him from Tyre, and from other districts even, a transmarine multitude. This fact the psalm had in view: |And behold tribes of foreign people, and Tyre, and the people of the Ethiopians; they were there. Sion is my mother, shall a man say; and in her was born a man| (forasmuch as the God-man was born), and He built her by the Father's will; that you may know how Gentiles then flocked to Him, because He was born the God-man who was to build the church according to the Father's will -- even of other races also. So says Isaiah too: |Behold, these come from far; and these from the north and from the west; and these from the land of the Persians.| Concerning whom He says again: |Lift up thine eyes round about, and behold, all these have gathered themselves together.| And yet again: |Thou seest these unknown and strange ones; and thou wilt say in thine heart, Who hath begotten me these? But who hath brought me up these? And these, where have they been?| Will such a Christ not be (the Christ) of the prophets? And what will be the Christ of the Marcionites? Since perversion of truth is their pleasure, he could not be (the Christ) of the prophets.
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