The Writings OF Saint Hippolytus
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He Who Speaks to You

By Saint Hippolytus

Note: All we can present here are but fragments of his original discourses. But as such contain gems of spiritual wisdom.


God, subsisting alone, and having nothing contemporaneous with Himself, determined to create the world. And conceiving the world in mind, and willing and uttering the word, He made it; and straightway it appeared, formed as it had pleased Him.


For us, then, it is sufficient simply to know that there was nothing contemporaneous with God. Beside Him there was nothing; but He, while existing alone, yet existed in plurality. For He was neither without reason, nor wisdom, nor power, nor counsel. And all things were in Him, and He was the All.


When He willed, and as He willed, He manifested His word in the times determined by Him, and by Him He made all things. When He wills, He does; and when He thinks, He executes; and when He speaks, He manifests; when He fashions, He contrives in wisdom. For all things that are made He forms by reason and wisdom – creating them in reason, and arranging them in wisdom.


He made them, then, as He pleased, for He was God. And as the Author, and fellow-Counsellor, and Framer of the things that are in formation, He begot the Word; and as He bears this Word in Himself, and that, too, as (yet) invisible to the world which is created, He makes Him visible; (and) uttering the voice first, and begetting Him as Light of Light, He set Him forth to the world as its Lord, (and) His own mind; and whereas He was visible formerly to Himself alone, and invisible to the world which is made, He makes Him visible in order that the world might see Him in His manifestation, and be capable of being saved.


And thus there appeared another beside Himself. But when I say another, I do not mean that there are two Gods, but that it is only as light of light, or as water from a fountain, or as a ray from the sun. For there is but one power, which is from the All; and the Father is the All, from whom comes this Power, the Word. And this is the mind which came forth into the world, and was manifested as the Son of God. . . .

And who is He that is made manifest but the Word of the Father? – whom the Father sent, and in whom He showed to men the power proceeding from Him. Thus, then, was the Word made manifest, even as the blessed John says. For he sums up the things that were said by the prophets, and shows that this is the Word, by whom all things were made.


For he speaks to this effect: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. All things were made by Him, and without Him was not anything made. And beneath He says, The world was made by Him, and the world knew Him not; He came unto His own, and His own received Him not. If, then, said he, the world was made by Him, according to the word of the prophet, By the Word of the Lord were the heavens made, then this is the Word that was also made manifest.


Now Jeremiah says, Who has stood in the counsel of the Lord, and has perceived His Word? But the Word of God alone is visible, while the word of man is audible. When he speaks of seeing the Word, I must believe that this visible (Word) has been sent. And there was none other (sent) but the Word. And that He was sent Peter testifies, when he says to the centurion Cornelius: God sent His Word unto the children of Israel by the preaching of Jesus Christ. This is the God who is Lord of all. If, then, the Word is sent by Jesus Christ, the will of the Father is Jesus Christ.


These things then, brethren, are declared by the Scriptures. And the blessed John, in the testimony of his Gospel, gives us an account of this economy (disposition) and acknowledges this Word as God, when he says, In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.


If, then, the Word was with God, and was also God, what follows? Would one say that he speaks of two Gods? I shall not indeed speak of two Gods, but of one; of two Persons however, and of a third economy (disposition), viz., the grace of the Holy Ghost. For the Father indeed is One, but there are two Persons, because there is also the Son; and then there is the third, the Holy Spirit. The Father decrees, the Word executes, and the Son is manifested, through whom the Father is believed on.


The economy of harmony is led back to one God; for God is One. It is the Father who commands, and the Son who obeys, and the Holy Spirit who gives understanding: the Father who is above all, and the Son who is through all, and the Holy Spirit who is in all.


And we cannot otherwise think of one God, but by believing in truth in Father and Son and Holy Spirit. For the Jews glorified (or gloried in) the Father, but gave Him not thanks, for they did not recognize the Son. The disciples recognized the Son, but not in the Holy Ghost; wherefore they also denied Him.


The Father’s Word, therefore, knowing the economy (disposition) and the will of the Father, to wit, that the Father seeks to be worshipped in none other way than this, gave this charge to the disciples after He rose from the dead: Go and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. And by this He showed, that whosoever omitted any one of these, failed in glorifying God perfectly. For it is through this Trinity that the Father is glorified. For the Father willed, the Son did, the Spirit manifested. The whole Scriptures, then, proclaim this truth. . . .

Rest satisfied with the word spoken by Christ, viz., That which is born of the Spirit is spirit, just as, speaking by the prophet of the generation of the Word, He shows the fact that He is begotten, but reserves the question of the manner and means, to reveal it only in the time determined by Himself. For He speaks thus: From the womb, before the morning star, I have begotten You.

This (is He who) breathes upon the disciples, and gives them the Spirit, and comes in among them when the doors are shut, and is taken up by a cloud into the heavens while the disciples gaze at Him, and is set down on the right hand of the Father, and comes again as the Judge of the living and the dead. This is the God who for our sakes became man, to whom also the Father has put all things in subjection. To Him be the glory and the power, with the Father and the Holy Spirit, in the holy Church both now and ever, and even for evermore. Amen.


The Discourse on the Holy Theophany



1. Good, yea, very good, are all the works of our God and Saviour— all of them that eye sees and mind perceives, all that reason interprets and hand handles, all that intellect comprehends and human nature understands. For what richer beauty can there be than that of the circle of heaven? And what form of more blooming fairness than that of earth's surface? And what is there swifter in the course than the chariot of the sun? And what more graceful car than the lunar orb? And what work more wonderful than the compact mosaic of the stars? And what more productive of supplies than the seasonable winds? And what more spotless mirror than the light of day? And what creature more excellent than man? Very good, then, are all the works of our God and Saviour. And what more requisite gift, again, is there than the element of water? For with water all things are washed and nourished, and cleansed and bedewed. Water bears the earth, water produces the dew, water exhilarates the vine; water matures the grain in the ear, water ripens the grape cluster, water softens the olive, water sweetens the palm-date, water reddens the rose and decks the violet, water makes the lily bloom with its brilliant cups. And why should I speak at length? Without the element of water, none of the present order of things can subsist. So necessary is the element of water; for the other elements took their places beneath the highest vault of the heavens, but the nature of water obtained a seat also above the heavens. And to this the prophet himself is a witness, when he exclaims, Praise the Lord, you heavens of heavens, and the water that is above the heavens.

2. Nor is this the only thing that proves the dignity of the water. But there is also that which is more honourable than all— the fact that Christ, the Maker of all, came down as the rain, and was known as a spring, and diffused Himself as a river, and was baptized in the Jordan. For you have just heard how Jesus came to John, and was baptized by him in the Jordan. Oh things strange beyond compare! How should the boundless River that makes glad the city of God have been dipped in a little water! The illimitable Spring that bears life to all men, and has no end, was covered by poor and temporary waters! He who is present everywhere, and absent nowhere— who is incomprehensible to angels and invisible to men— comes to the baptism according to His own good pleasure. When you hear these things, beloved, take them not as if spoken literally, but accept them as presented in a figure. Whence also the Lord was not unnoticed by the watery element in what He did in secret, in the kindness of His condescension to man. For the waters saw Him, and were afraid. They well nigh broke from their place, and burst away from their boundary. Hence the prophet, having this in his view many generations ago, puts the question, What ails you, O sea, that you reddest; and you, Jordan, that you were driven back? And they in reply said, We have seen the Creator of all things in the form of a servant, and being ignorant of the mystery of the economy, we were lashed with fear.

3. But we, who know the economy, adore His mercy, because He has come to save and not to judge the world. Wherefore John, the forerunner of the Lord, who before knew not this mystery, on learning that He is Lord in truth, cried out, and spoke to those who came to be baptized of him, O generation of vipers, why do you look so earnestly at me? I am not the Christ; I am the servant, and not the lord; I am the subject, and not the king; I am the sheep, and not the shepherd; I am a man, and not God. By my birth I loosed the barrenness of my mother; I did not make virginity barren. I was brought up from beneath; I did not come down from above. I bound the tongue of my father; I did not unfold divine grace. I was known by my mother, and I was not announced by a star. I am worthless, and the least; but after me there comes One who is before me — after me, indeed, in time, but before me by reason of the inaccessible and unutterable light of divinity. There comes One mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire. I am subject to authority, but He has authority in Himself. I am bound by sins, but He is the Remover of sins. I apply the law, but He brings grace to light. I teach as a slave, but He judges as the Master. I have the earth as my couch, but He possesses heaven. I baptize with the baptism of repentance, but He confers the gift of adoption: He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire. Why do you give attention to me? I am not the Christ.

4. As John says these things to the multitude, and as the people watch in eager expectation of seeing some strange spectacle with their bodily eyes, and the devil is struck with amazement at such a testimony from John, lo, the Lord appears, plain, solitary, uncovered, without escort, having on Him the body of man like a garment, and hiding the dignity of the Divinity, that He may elude the snares of the dragon. And not only did He approach John as Lord without royal retinue; but even like a mere man, and one involved in sin, He bent His head to be baptized by John. Wherefore John, on seeing so great a humbling of Himself, was struck with astonishment at the affair, and began to prevent Him, saying, as you have just heard, I have need to be baptized by You, and You come to me? What are you doing, O Lord? You teach things not according to rule. I have preached one thing (regarding You), and You perform another; the devil has heard one thing, and perceives another. Baptize me with the fire of Divinity; why do you wait for water? Enlighten me with the Spirit; why do You attend upon a creature? Baptize me, the Baptist, that Your pre-eminence may be known. I, O Lord, baptize with the baptism of repentance, and I cannot baptize those who come to me unless they first confess fully their sins. Be it so then that I baptize You, what have You to confess? You are the Remover of sins, and will You be baptized with the baptism of repentance? Though I should venture to baptize You, the Jordan dares not to come near You. I have need to be baptized by You, and You come to me?

5. And what says the Lord to him? Suffer it to be so now, for thus it becomes us to fulfil all righteousness. Suffer it to be so now, John; you are not wiser than I. You see as man; I foreknow as God. It becomes me to do this first, and thus to teach. I engage in nothing unbecoming, for I am invested with honour. Do you marvel, O John, that I am not come in my dignity? The purple robe of kings suits not one in private station, but military splendour suits a king: am I come to a prince, and not to a friend? Suffer it to be so now for thus it becomes us to fulfil all righteousness: I am the Fulfiller of the law; I seek to leave nothing wanting to its whole fulfilment, that so after me Paul may exclaim, Christ is the fulfilling of the law for righteousness to every one that believes. Suffer it to be so now, for thus it becomes us to fulfil all righteousness. Baptize me, John, in order that no one may despise baptism. I am baptized by you, the servant, that no one among kings or dignitaries may scorn to be baptized by the hand of a poor priest. Allow me to go down into the Jordan, in order that they may hear my Father's testimony, and recognise the power of the Son. Suffer it to be so now, for thus it becomes us to fulfil all righteousness. Then at lengthJohn suffers Him. And Jesus, when He was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and the heavens were opened unto Him; and, lo, the Spirit of God descended like a dove, and rested upon Him. And a voice (came) from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

6. Do you see, beloved, how many and how great blessings we would have lost, if the Lord had yielded to the exhortation of John, and declined baptism? For the heavens were shut before this; the region above was inaccessible. We would in that case descend to the lower parts, but we would not ascend to the upper. But was it only that the Lord was baptized? He also renewed the old man, and committed to him again the sceptre of adoption. For straightway the heavens were opened to Him. A reconciliation took place of the visible with the invisible; the celestial orders were filled with joy; the diseases of earth were healed; secret things were made known; those at enmity were restored to amity. For you have heard the word of the evangelist, saying, The heavens were opened to Him, on account of three wonders. For when Christ the Bridegroom was baptized, it was meet that the bridal-chamber of heaven should open its brilliant gates. And in like manner also, when the Holy Spirit descended in the form of a dove, and the Father's voice spread everywhere, it was meet that the gates of heaven should be lifted up. And, lo, the heavens were opened to Him; and a voice was heard, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

7. The beloved generates love, and the light immaterial the light inaccessible. This is my beloved Son, He who, being manifested on earth and yet unseparated from the Father's bosom, was manifested, and yet did not appear. For the appearing is a different thing, since in appearance the baptizer here is superior to the baptized. For this reason did the Father send down the Holy Spirit from heaven upon Him who was baptized. For as in the ark of Noah the love of God toward man is signified by the dove, so also now the Spirit, descending in the form of a dove, bearing as it were the fruit of the olive, rested on Him to whom the witness was borne. For what reason? That the faithfulness of the Father's voice might be made known, and that the prophetic utterance of a long time past might be ratified. And what utterance is this? The voice of the Lord (is) on the waters, the God of glory thundered; the Lord (is) upon many waters. And what voice? This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. This is He who is named the son of Joseph, and (who is) according to the divine essence my Only-begotten. This is my beloved Son— He who is hungry, and yet maintains myriads; who is weary, and yet gives rest to the weary; who has not where to lay His head, and yet bears up all things in His hand; who suffers, and yet heals sufferings; who is smitten, and yet confers liberty on the world; who is pierced in the side, and yet repairs the side of Adam.

8. But give me now your best attention, I pray you, for I wish to go back to the fountain of life, and to view the fountain that gushes with healing. The Father of immortality sent the immortal Son and Word into the world, who came to man in order to wash him with water and the Spirit; and He, begetting us again to incorruption of soul and body, breathed into us the breath (spirit) of life, and endued us with an incorruptible panoply. If, therefore, man has become immortal, he will also be God. And if he is made God by water and the Holy Spirit after the regeneration of the layer he is found to be also joint-heir with Christ after the resurrection from the dead. Wherefore I preach to this effect: Come, all you kindreds of the nations, to the immortality of the baptism. I bring good tidings of life to you who tarry in the darkness of ignorance. Come into liberty from slavery, into a kingdom from tyranny, into incorruption from corruption. And how, says one, shall we come? How? By water and the Holy Ghost. This is the water in conjunction with the Spirit, by which paradise is watered, by which the earth is enriched, by which plants grow, by which animals multiply, and (to sum up the whole in a single word) by which man is begotten again and endued with life, in which also Christ was baptized, and in which the Spirit descended in the form of a dove.

9. This is the Spirit that at the beginning moved upon the waters; by whom the world moves; by whom creation consists, and all things have life; who also wrought mightily in the prophets, and descended in flight upon Christ. This is the Spirit that was given to the apostles in the form of fiery tongues. This is the Spirit that David sought when he said, Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Of this Spirit Gabriel also spoke to the Virgin, The Holy Ghost shall come upon you, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow you. By this Spirit Peter spoke that blessed word, You are the Christ, the Son of the living God. By this Spirit the rock of the Church was established. This is the Spirit, the Comforter, that is sent because of you, that He may show you to be the Son of God.

10. Come then, be begotten again, O man, into the adoption of God. And how? Says one. If you practise adultery no more, and commit not murder, and serve not idols; if you are not overmastered by pleasure; if you do not suffer the feeling of pride to rule you; if you clean off the filthiness of impurity, and put off the burden of sin; if you cast off the armour of the devil, and put on the breastplate of faith, even as Isaiah says, Wash, and seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, and plead for the widow. And come and let us reason together, says the Lord. Though your sins be as scarlet, I shall make them white as snow; and though they be like crimson, I shall make them white as wool. And if you be willing, and hear my voice, you shall eat the good of the land. Do you see, beloved, how the prophet spoke beforetime of the purifying power of baptism? For he who comes down in faith to the layer of regeneration, and renounces the devil, and joins himself to Christ; who denies the enemy, and makes the confession that Christ is God; who puts off the bondage, and puts on the adoption,— he comes up from the baptism brilliant as the sun, flashing forth the beams of righteousness, and, which is indeed the chief thing, he returns a son of God and joint-heir with Christ. To Him be the glory and the power, together with His most holy, and good, and quickening Spirit, now and ever, and to all the ages of the ages. Amen.


St. Hippolytus
The Origin of “Light from Light” in the Nicene Creed

Hippolytus and the "Faith of Jesus Christ"
In his tract on the Christ and the Antichrist, Hippolytus discourses about what is going to happen to Christians when the Antichrist comes.

In paragraph 61 it says:


And the words, "upon her head a crown of twelve stars," refer to the twelve apostles by whom the Church was founded. And those, "she, being with child, cries, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered," mean that the Church will not cease to bear from her heart the Word that is persecuted by the unbelieving in the world. "And she brought forth," he says, "a man-child, who is to rule all the nations;" by which is meant that the Church, always bringing forth Christ, the perfect man-child of God, who is declared to be God and man, becomes the instructor of all the nations. And the words, "her child was caught up unto God and to His throne," signify that he who is always born of her is a heavenly king, and not an earthly; even as David also declared of old when he said, "The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit Thou at my right hand, until I make Thine enemies Thy footstool." "And the dragon," he says, "saw and persecuted the woman which brought forth the man-child. And to the woman were given two wings of the great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent." That refers to the one thousand two hundred and threescore days (the half of the week) during which the tyrant is to reign and persecute the Church, which flees from city to city, and seeks concealment in the wilderness among the mountains, possessed of no other defence than the two wings of the great eagle, that is to say, the faith of Jesus Christ, [Iesou Christou pistis] who, in stretching forth His holy hands on the holy tree, unfolded two wings, the right and the left, and called to Him all who believed upon Him, and covered them as a hen her chickens. For by the mouth of Malachi also He speaks thus: "And unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in His wings."

Josephus (or Hippolytus?) on Hades
Bear In Mind Hippolytus was a Messianic Jew :

In the first section, Josephus here describes Hades as a subterraneous region where the souls of both the righteous and the unrighteous are detained for a time.  The light of “this world” does not shine there; it is a place of perpetual darkness and angels are appointed as guardians over the souls to distribute temporary punishment according to each person’s behavior (i.e., whether they do justly or unjustly).

Josephus then describes a region set apart from Hades, a lake of unquenchable fire into which no one has yet been cast, however, this is prepared for a day of judgement determined by God when righteous sentence shall be passed upon all people.  The unjust who have been disobedient to God and who have served idols will be sentenced to everlasting punishment (the lake of fire?), while the just will be given an incorruptible, never-fading kingdom.  However, Josephus interjects, these (i.e., the just who will receive the kingdom) are presently confined in Hades, but in a different place from the unjust.

This place where the souls of the righteous dwell is called The Bosom of Abraham.   There is only one descent into this region (Hades?), Josephus writes, and there is a gate guarded by an archangel with a host of angels.  The just are guided by these angel-guardians to the right hand to a region of light, while the unjust are dragged by force to the left hand by the angels allotted for punishment into “the neighborhood of hell itself” where the unjust are “struck with fearful expectation of future judgement and in effect are punished thereby.”   Furthermore, the unjust are able to see the place of the just and of the fathers (this appears to be the Bosom of Abraham, since Josephus’ description of Abraham’s Bosom includes a reference to the “countenance of the fathers of the just, which they see, always smiles upon them while they wait for that rest and eternal new life in heaven, which is to succeed [the Bosom of Abraham].”   The unjust see that there is a chaos or chasm fixed between these two places so that even if a just man has compassion upon the unjust, he cannot be admitted to the hellish place, nor can the unjust man pass over into Abraham’s Bosom.

(Note 1: this descriptions seems to display a similar view of the afterlife as the story told by Jesus of the beggar Lazarus and the rich man in Luke 16:19-31.  Lazarus dies and is carried by angels to Abraham’s bosom.  The rich man dies also and, from his place of torment in Hades, looks across the chasm at Lazarus resting in Abraham’s bosom.  The rich man begs Abraham to send Lazarus to him with a drop of water to cool his tongue, but Abraham reminds him that on earth, he had good things and Lazarus suffered – now everything has been flipped on its head and Lazarus is comforted while the rich man suffers.  And besides, Abraham adds, there’s a great chasm fixed between them so Lazarus wouldn’t be able to cross over into Hades anyway.  Note 2: echoes of Matthew 25?).

Now we come to the part in Josephus regarding resurrection (or, as Wright often puts it, “life after life-after-death”).  Josephus finishes his thoughts on Hades and moves on to resurrection thus:

This is the discourse concerning Hades, wherein the souls of all men are confined until a proper season, which God hath determined when he will make a resurrection of all men from the dead, not procuring a transmigration of souls from one body to another, but raising again those very bodies, which you Greeks, seeing to be dissolved, do not believe [their resurrection:] but learn not to disbelieve it; for while you believe that the soul is created, and yet is made immortal by God, according to the doctrine of Plato and this in time, be not incredulous, but believe that God is able, when he hath raised to life that body which was made as a compound of the same elements, to make it immortal; for it must never be said of God that he is able to do some things, and unable to do others.

Talk about a run-on sentence.   In Wright’s discussion of Josephus, he cites other places where it appears Josephus could conceivable be talking about the “transmigration of souls” (War 3.374f, Ap. 2.217f, War 2.163), however, Wright opines that when these passages are viewed in the context of Josephus’ writings as a whole, it appears that he is talking about bodily resurrection (Wright 175-181).  The belief in resurrection seems even more clearly articulated here.  After this sentence in Concerning Hades, Josephus continues to describe how although the earth receives the remains of the body, it preserves them and they are like seed that will grow again at the mighty sound of God the Creator.  Therefore, Josephus argues, we (the Jews?) have not rashly believed in the resurrection of the body; even though the body is dissolved for a time on account of the first sin, it still exists in the earth as in a potter’s furnace in order to be re-formed so that it will be raised in a state of purity, unlike the first body; indestructable.  And it appears that the resurrection and the final judgment, the righteous will be raised in a state of glorious purity while the unrighteous will be raised in their old, sick, diseased bodies:

…and to every body shall its own soul be restored; and when it hath clothed itself with that body, it will not be subject to misery, but, being itself pure, it will continue with its pure body, and rejoice with it, with which it having walked righteously now in this world, and never having had it as a snare, it will receive it again with great gladness; but as for the unjust, they will receive their bodies not changed, not freed from diseases or distempers, nor made glorious, but with the same diseases wherein they died; and such as they were in their unbelief, the same shall they be when they shall be faithfully judged.

Then comes the Judgement.  Unlike the belief of “you Greeks,” Josephus writes, Minos and Rhadamanthus are not judges, but he whom God has glorified, the one called messiah, is judge.

Josephus writes of how this judge will consign the unjust to everlasting punishment in the place of unquenchable fire where the worm does not die (note: smacks of Mark 9:48) and neither is the body destroyed; the body continues in grief.  The just, however, will obtain the heavenly kingdom.  From his description, however, it seems that this heavenly kingdom is on earth.  The earth will not be difficult to pass over, nor will it be difficult to find the court of Paradise (note: this word “Paradise” is also used in Josephus’ history of the Jews as a reference to the garden of Eden).  There will not be any fearful roaring of the sea, forbidding passengers to walk on it, but the just will be able to pass over it easily (note: the sea is an earthly phenomenon) and Heaven, it seems, will not be uninhabitable by men, but they will be able to discover a way to ascend to Heaven.  The earth will bring forth fruit of its own accord.  No new animals nor humans will be “shoot out anymore” (presumably a reference to Genesis creation when animals shoot up from the ground and humans are formed from the dust of the ground), for the earth will be inhabited by the everlasting righteous humans along with the righteous angels and spirits of God.  Righteous men and women will never grow old, but continue in an incorruptible state, singing to God.

…[with these] the whole creation also will lift up a perpetual hymn from corruption to incorruption, as glorified by a splendid and pure spirit.  It will not then be restrained by a bond of necessity, but with a lively freedom shall offer up a voluntary hymn, and shall praise him that made them, together with the angels, and the spirits, and men now freed from all bondage.

I think the clincher is the author’s reference to 1 Corinthians 2:9, “what neither eye hath seen, nor ear heard, nor hath it entered into the heart of man, the things that God hath prepared for them that love him.”  True, it’s taken from an OT quote (Isa. 64:4), but Paul’s rendering in 1 Cor. is a little different and this matches it precisely (at least, in the English).  There’s no way that Josephus was quoting Paul.



Hippolytus of Rome: When Christ the Bridegroom was Baptized, it was Fitting that the Bridal-Chamber of Heaven should Open its Brilliant Gates

Hippolytus of Rome and PATRISTIC and POPES Adam, baptism, Bridegroom, Christ, epiphany, heaven, Holy Spirit, incarnation, John the Baptist, redemption, Trinity Mark Armitage

Do you see…how many and how great blessings we would have lost, if the Lord had yielded to the exhortation of John, and declined baptism?

For the heavens were shut before this; the region above was inaccessible.

We would in that case descend to the lower parts, but we would not ascend to the upper. But was it only that the Lord was baptized?

He also renewed the old man, and committed to him again the sceptre of adoption.

For straightway “the heavens were opened to Him.”

A reconciliation took place of the visible with the invisible; the celestial orders were filled with joy; the diseases of earth were healed; secret things were made known; those at enmity were restored to amity.

For you have heard the word of the evangelist, saying, “The heavens were opened to Him,” on account of three wonders.

For when Christ the Bridegroom was baptized, it was meet that the bridal-chamber of heaven should open its brilliant gates.

And in like manner also, when the Holy Spirit descended in the form of a dove, and the Father’s voice spread everywhere, it was meet that “the gates of heaven should be lifted up.”

“And, lo, the heavens were opened to Him; and a voice was heard, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”

The beloved generates love, and the light immaterial the light inaccessible.

“This is my beloved Son,” He who, being manifested on earth and yet unseparated from the Father’s bosom, was manifested, and yet did not appear.

[…] For this reason did the Father send down the Holy Spirit from heaven upon Him who was baptized.

For as in the ark of Noah the love of God toward man is signified by the dove, so also now the Spirit, descending in the form of a dove, bearing as it were the fruit of the olive, rested on Him to whom the witness was borne.

For what reason? That the faithfulness of the Father’s voice might be made known, and that the prophetic utterance of a long time past might be ratified.

And what utterance is this? “The voice of the Lord is on the waters, the God of glory thundered; the Lord is upon many waters.”

And what voice? “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” This is He who is named the son of Joseph, and who is according to the divine essence my Only-begotten.

“This is my beloved Son”—He who…suffers, and yet heals sufferings; who is smitten, and yet confers liberty on the world; who is pierced in the side, and yet repairs the side of Adam.

Hippolytus of Rome (c.170-c.236): Discourse on the Theophany, 6-7.


Give me now your best attention…, for I wish to go back to the fountain of life, and to view the fountain that gushes with healing.

The Father of immortality sent the immortal Son and Word into the world, who came to man in order to wash him with water and the Spirit.

And He, begetting us again to incorruption of soul and body, breathed into us the breath (spirit) of life, and endued us with an incorruptible panoply.

If, therefore, man has become immortal, he will also be God. And if he is made God by water and the Holy Spirit after the regeneration of the laver he is found to be also joint-heir with Christ after the resurrection from the dead.

Wherefore I preach to this effect…: Come into liberty from slavery, into a kingdom from tyranny, into incorruption from corruption.

And how…shall we come? How? By water and the Holy Ghost.

This is the water in conjunction with the Spirit, by which paradise is watered, by which the earth is enriched…, by which man is begotten again and endued with life, in which also Christ was baptized, and in which the Spirit descended in the form of a dove.

This is the Spirit that at the beginning “moved upon the face of the waters;” by whom the world moves; by whom creation consists, and all things have life; who also wrought mightily in the prophets, and descended in flight upon Christ.

This is the Spirit that was given to the apostles in the form of fiery tongues. This is the Spirit that David sought when he said, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.”

Of this Spirit Gabriel also spoke to the Virgin, “The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee.”

By this Spirit Peter spoke that blessed word, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

By this Spirit the rock of the Church was stablished. This is the Spirit, the Comforter, that is sent because of thee, that He may show thee to be the Son of God.

Come then, be begotten again, O man, into the adoption of God.

[…] He who comes down in faith to the laver of regeneration, and renounces the devil, and joins himself to Christ; who denies the enemy, and makes the confession that Christ is God; who puts off the bondage, and puts on the adoption,

—he comes up from the baptism brilliant as the sun, flashing forth the beams of righteousness, and, which is indeed the chief thing, he returns a son of God and joint-heir with Christ.

Hippolytus of Rome (c.170-c.236): Discourse on the Theophany, 8-10.

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Hippolytus of Rome: When Christ the Bridegroom was Baptized, it was Fitting that the Bridal-Chamber of Heaven should Open its Brilliant Gates

Monday, Jan 7 2013 

Hippolytus of Rome and PATRISTIC and POPES Adam, baptism, Bridegroom, Christ, epiphany, heaven, Holy Spirit, incarnation, John the Baptist, redemption, Trinity Mark Armitage 11:09 am

Do you see…how many and how great blessings we would have lost, if the Lord had yielded to the exhortation of John, and declined baptism?

For the heavens were shut before this; the region above was inaccessible.

We would in that case descend to the lower parts, but we would not ascend to the upper. But was it only that the Lord was baptized?

He also renewed the old man, and committed to him again the sceptre of adoption.

For straightway “the heavens were opened to Him.”

A reconciliation took place of the visible with the invisible; the celestial orders were filled with joy; the diseases of earth were healed; secret things were made known; those at enmity were restored to amity.

For you have heard the word of the evangelist, saying, “The heavens were opened to Him,” on account of three wonders.

For when Christ the Bridegroom was baptized, it was meet that the bridal-chamber of heaven should open its brilliant gates.

And in like manner also, when the Holy Spirit descended in the form of a dove, and the Father’s voice spread everywhere, it was meet that “the gates of heaven should be lifted up.”

“And, lo, the heavens were opened to Him; and a voice was heard, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”

The beloved generates love, and the light immaterial the light inaccessible.

“This is my beloved Son,” He who, being manifested on earth and yet unseparated from the Father’s bosom, was manifested, and yet did not appear.

[…] For this reason did the Father send down the Holy Spirit from heaven upon Him who was baptized.

For as in the ark of Noah the love of God toward man is signified by the dove, so also now the Spirit, descending in the form of a dove, bearing as it were the fruit of the olive, rested on Him to whom the witness was borne.

For what reason? That the faithfulness of the Father’s voice might be made known, and that the prophetic utterance of a long time past might be ratified.

And what utterance is this? “The voice of the Lord is on the waters, the God of glory thundered; the Lord is upon many waters.”

And what voice? “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” This is He who is named the son of Joseph, and who is according to the divine essence my Only-begotten.

“This is my beloved Son”—He who…suffers, and yet heals sufferings; who is smitten, and yet confers liberty on the world; who is pierced in the side, and yet repairs the side of Adam.

Hippolytus of Rome (c.170-c.236): Discourse on the Theophany, 6-7.

Hippolytus of Rome and PATRISTIC and POPES Christ, death, freedom, incarnation, Old Law, prophets, redemption, victory Mark Armitage 3:10 pm

Gabriel says: Seal the vision and the Prophet (Daniel 9:24).

We must note that fullness of the Law and the Prophets came ‘in person’.

For the Law and the Prophets were in force till John – and for that reason their words had to be sealed in order that at the advent of the Lord everything would appear loosed and the things that were sealed and difficult to know would be known, and that which formerly was fettered would be unfettered from then on.

The Lord himself indicated as much to the princes of the people who were indignant because they saw him perform miracles on the Sabbath and cure all sickness and infirmity.

He told them: O you hypocrites! Which of you does not let his ox or ass out of the stall on the Sabbath to water it? Should not this daughter of Abraham here who has been in the bondage of Satan for eighteen years have been released from her shackles on the Sabbath?

The Lord has come to release from the shackles of death all those who had been in the bondage of Satan, to shackle him who against everyone else had been the strong man, and liberate man­kind, according to the words of Isaiah: Saying to the prisoners: Come out! To those in darkness, show yourselves!

Now, all that the Law and the Prophets had said of old to men was something sealed and unknown to them.

This is what Isaiah illustrates: When the sealed scroll is handed to one who can read, with the request, ‘Read this’, he replies, ‘I cannot; it is sealed.’

It was necessary, then, that everything the prophets had said for the unbelieving Pharisees, who considered themselves to be learned in the law, should be sealed for them but open to believers.

We see, therefore, that everything which was formerly sealed is now open to the saints by the grace of the Lord. For he is the perfect seal, the key of David, who opens, and no one shuts; who shuts, and no one opens.

He, then, has taken the book and loosed the seals so that what had been said about him in an obscure way, could now be announced unequivocally from the house­tops. That is why the Angel said to Daniel: Seal up those words, for the vision refers to distant days.

But to the Christ it was not said: ‘Seal’, but: ‘Loose what was formerly bound’ that his grace might make us know the will of the Father and we may believe in him whom the Father has sent for the salvation of men, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Hippolytus of Rome (c.170-c.236): Commentary on Daniel,IV, 38-39 (SC 14:340-343); from the Monastic Office of Vigils, Thursday of the 34th Week of Ordinary Time, Year 2.

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Hippolytus of Rome: When We Stop Praying, the Adversary is Victorious Over Us

Hippolytus of Rome and PATRISTIC and POPES faith, God, heart, martyrs, prayer, trust Mark Armitage 2:52 pm

Daniel…did not yield to fright, for he was ready to become the prey of beasts rather than submit to the decree of the king.

[…] Having returned home, Daniel knelt in prayer in the upper chamber three times a day, with the windows open toward Jerusalem, as was his custom.

Let us contemplate the piety of blessed Daniel. Although he seemed to have much work to do for the king, he continued to be faithful to daily prayer, rendering to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and to God what belongs to God.

Someone might object: Was it not possible for him to pray to God in the intimacy of his heart during the day, and then, during the night, remain secretly recollected in his home as he desired, and without endangering himself?

Of course, he could have acted in that way, but…the supervisors and the satraps might have said: What is the value of the fear of God, since he is afraid of the king’s edict and is submissive to his commands? And they would have been ready to accuse him of infidelity.

[…] Hence, Daniel did not give his adversaries any ‘pretext’ for de­traction, for whoever submits to a man is that man’s slave.

That is why the blessed Daniel, who had preferred the fear of God and delivered himself to death, was saved from the lions by the angel.

If he had taken the edict into consideration and had remained quiet for thirty days, his faith would not have preserved its purity. No one can serve two masters.

The wily devil exercises his wits to persecute, oppress, bring down the saints, and prevent them from raising their holy hands to God in their prayers.

The devil knows well that the prayer of the saints gives peace to the world and brings chastisements to the wicked, which makes us recall that when Moses in the desert raised his hands, Israel overcame, and when he lowered them, it was Amalek who had the upper hand.

This still takes place for us today. When we stop praying, the adversary is victorious over us; and when we cling to prayer, the power and energy of the Evil One are fruitless.

How powerful are those who trust more in God than in men! Men extinguish all hope and deliver us to death, but God will not abandon his servants.

That is why the psalmist teaches that it is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man. It is better to trust in the Lord than to trust in princes.

Hippolytus of Rome (c.170-c.236): Commentary on Daniel,III, 21-30 (SC 14:242-258); from the Monastic Office of Vigils, Tuesday of the 34th Week of Ordinary Time, Year 2.

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Hippolytus of Rome: A Person Without the Holy Spirit is Frightened of the Struggle

Hippolytus of Rome and PATRISTIC and POPES death, eternal life, fear, Holy Spirit, martyrs, pride, struggles, suffering Mark Armitage 12:25 pm

On chapter 3 of the book of Daniel…

Behold three youths who have set an example for all.

They were unafraid of the numerous satraps and of the words of the king.

They did not tremble when they heard about the fiery flames of the furnace, but they spurned all and the whole world for they thought only of the fear of God.

You see how the Spirit of the Father teaches eloquence to the martyrs, consoling them and exhorting them to despise death in this world, to hasten their attainment of heavenly goods.

But a person who is without the Holy Spirit is frightened of the struggle.

He hides himself, takes precautions against a death that is only temporal, is afraid of the sword, falls into a panic at the thought of the torture.

He no longer sees any other thing than the world here below, worries only about the present life, prefers his wife to everything else, is bothered only about love for his children, and seeks nothing but wealth.

Such a man, because he is not endowed with heavenly strength, is quickly lost.

That is why anyone who desires to come near the Word listens to the behest of the King and Lord of heaven:

Whoever does not bear his cross and follow me is not worthy of me, and whoever does not renounce all that he possesses cannot be my disciple.

Scripture tells us that after this those three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, fell into the white-hot furnace and walked about in the flames, singing to God and blessing the Lord.

[…] God saved those he wanted, in order that the wonders of his works might be revealed to the whole world.

But those whom he desired to undergo martyrdom, he crowned and let them come to him.

If he drew the three youths out of their predicament, it was to show the emptiness and folly of Nebuchadnezzar’s boastfulness and prove at the same time that what is impossible to man is possible to God.

Nebuchadnezzar had proudly declared: Who is the God that can deliver you out of my hands? God proved to him that he can free his servants when he wishes to do so.

That is why it is improper for man to oppose the decisions of God. For if we live, we live for the Lord. And if we die, we die for the Lord. Whether we live or whether we die, we belong to the Lord.

Hippolytus of Rome (c.170-c.236): Commentary on Daniel, II, 18-37 (SC 14:150-184); from the Monastic Office of Vigils, Saturday of Week 33 in ordinary Time, Year 2.

Hippolytus of Rome: The Long Dark Night Has Been Swallowed Up and the Dreary Shadows of Death Have Vanished

Anonymous and Hippolytus of Rome and PATRISTIC and POPES ascension, Christ, Christ the King, death, deification, image of God, paschal mystery, redemption, resurrection, victory Mark Armitage 10:57 am

Now the holy rays of the light of Christ shine forth, the pure stars of the pure Spirit rise, the heavenly treasures of glory and divinity lie open.

In this splendour the long dark night has been swallowed up and the dreary shadows of death have vanished.

For us who believe in him a glorious day has dawned, a long unending day, the mystical Passover symbolically celebrated by the Law and effectually accomplished by Christ, a wonderful Passover, a miracle of divine virtue, a work of divine power.

This is the true festival and the everlasting memorial, the day upon which freedom from suffering comes from suffering, immortality from death, life from the tomb, healing from a wound, Resurrection from the fall, and Ascension into heaven from the descent into hell.

To show that he had power over death Christ had exercised his royal authority to loose death’s bonds even during his lifetime, as for example when he gave the commands, Lazarus, come out and Arise, my child.

For the same reason he surrendered himself completely to death, so that in him that gluttonous beast with his insatiable appetite would die completely.

Since death’s  power comes from sin, it searched everywhere in his sinless body for its accustomed food, for sensuality, pride, disobedience or, in a word, for that ancient sin which was its original sustenance.

In him, however, it found nothing to feed on and so, being entirely closed in upon itself and destroyed for lack of nourishment, death became its own death.

Many of the just, proclaiming the Good News and prophe­sying, were awaiting him who was to become by his Resurrection the firstborn from the dead.

And so, to save all members of the human race, whether they lived before the Law, under the Law, or after his own coming, Christ dwelt three days beneath the earth.

After his Resurrection it was the women who were the first to see him, for as a woman brought the first sin into the world, so a woman first announced the news of life to the world.

Thus they heard the holy words, Women, rejoice; for sadness was to be swallowed up by the joy of the Resurrection.

When Christ had clothed himself completely in the humanity created in God’s image and transformed into the heavenly man the old man he had put on, the image united to himself ascended with him into heaven.

At the sign of the great mystery of human nature now ascending with God the angelic powers cried out with joy, commanding the hosts of heaven: Lift up your gates, you princes, be lifted up, you everlasting doors, and the king of glory shall enter.

Hippolytus of Rome (c.170-c.236) [attrib.]: Paschal Homily (SC 27:116-118, 184-190); from the Monastic Office of Vigils, Easter Monday, Year 2.

Hippolytus of Rome: He Has Given us a Share in His Divinity

Hippolytus of Rome and PATRISTIC and POPES body, Christ, Christ's passion, deification, incarnation, incorruptibility, kingdom of God, redemption, resurrection, soul.

Without protest, Christ endured his passion, he submitted to death and revealed his resurrection.

In all these ways he offered his own manhood as the first fruits of our race to keep us from losing heart when suffering comes our way, and to make us look forward to receiving the same reward as he did, since we know that we possess the same humanity.

When we have come to know the true God, both our bodies and our souls will be immortal and incorruptible.

We shall enter the kingdom of heaven, because while we lived on earth we acknowledged heaven’s King.

Friends of God and co-heirs with Christ, we shall be subject to no evil desires or inclinations, or to any affliction of body or soul, for we shall have become divine.

Whatever evil you may have suffered, being man, it is God that sent it to you, precisely because you are man; but equally, when you have been deified, God has promised you a share in every one of his own attributes.

The saying Know yourself means therefore that we should recognise and acknowledge in ourselves the God who made us in his own image, for if we do this, we in turn will be recognised and acknowledged by our Maker.

So let us not be at enmity with ourselves, but change our way of life without delay. For Christ who is God, exalted above all creation, has taken away man’s sin and has re-fashioned our fallen nature.

In the beginning God made man in his image and so gave proof of his love for us. If we obey his holy commands and learn to imitate his goodness, we shall be like him and he will honour us.

God is not beggarly, and for the sake of his own glory he has given us a share in his divinity.

Hippolytus of Rome(c.170-c.236): excerpt from the treatise On the Refutation of All Heresies, 10, 33-34
 




The Apostolic Tradition of Hippolytus of Rome



The Apostolic Tradition of Hippolytus of Rome was composed in approximately 215 in Rome. It apparently preserved older second century practices which were in danger of falling to disuse or innovation. Hippolytus, a presbyter of the Roman Church at the time, was so distraught over the innovating practices of his former friends, the Pope Zephyrinus and his successor Callistus, that he set himself up as history's first antipope! He continued in this role through the rules of Callistus successors, Urban and Pontius, and in the time of Pope Pontianus, both he and Pontianus were exiled to Sardinia, from all accounts an extraordinarily unhealthy place, where they were forced to work the mines. Shortly afterward, in 235, both died there. Sometime before his death, Hippolytus was reconciled to the Roman Bishop. The two were martyrs, and their bodies were both brought back to Rome, where they were honorably buried.


Sadly most of Hippolytus' works are lost to us. The Apostolic Tradition itself is partly preserved in a Latin palmpsest, and in several oriental versions. The Greek original is wholly lost, but for fragments in the heavily edited excerpts in The Apostolic Constitutions.

1 We have set forth as was necessary that part of the discourse which relates to the spiritual gifts, all that God, right from the beginning, granted to people according to his will, bringing back to himself this image which had gone astray.


2Now, driven by love towards all the saints, we have arrived at the essence of the tradition which is proper for the Churches. 3This is so that those who are well informed may keep the tradition which has lasted until now, according to the explanation we give of it, and so that others by taking note of it may be strengthened 4(against the fall or error which has recently occurred because of ignorance and ignorant people), 5with the Holy Spirit conferring perfect grace on those who have a correct faith, and so that they will know that those who are at the head of the Church must teach and guard all these things.


2 He who is ordained as a bishop, being chosen by all the people, must be irreproachable.


2When his name is announced and approved, the people will gather on the Lord's day with the council of elders and the bishops who are present. 3With the assent of all, the bishops will place their hands upon him, with the council of elders standing by, quietly. 4Everyone will keep silent, praying in their hearts for the descent of the Spirit. 5After this, one of the bishops present, at the request of all, shall lay his hand upon him who is being ordained bishop, and pray, saying,


3 God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Father of mercies and God of all consolation,


you who live in the highest, but regard the lowest you who know all things before they are,

2you who gave the rules of the Church through the word of your grace,


who predestined from the beginning the race of the righteous through Abraham, who instituted princes and priests,


and did not leave your sanctuary without a minister; who from the beginning of the world has been pleased to be glorified by those whom you have chosen,


3pour out upon him the power which is from you, the princely Spirit, which you gave to your beloved Son Jesus Christ,


which he gave to your holy apostles,


who founded the Church in every place as your sanctuary, for the glory and endless praise of your name.


4Grant, Father who knows the heart,


to your servant whom you chose for the episcopate, that he will feed your holy flock,


that he will wear your high priesthood without reproach, serving night and day, incessantly making your face favorable, and offering the gifts of your holy church; 5in the spirit of high priesthood having the power to forgive sins according to your command; to assign lots according to your command;


to loose any bond according to the authority which you gave to the apostles; to please you in mildness and a pure heart, offering to you a sweet scent,

6through your son Jesus Christ, through whom to you be glory, power, and honor, Father and Son, with the Holy Spirit, in the Holy Church, now and throughout the ages of the ages. Amen.


4When he has been made bishop, everyone shall give him the kiss of peace, and salute him respectfully, for he has been made worthy of this. 2Then the deacons shall present the oblation to him, and he shall lay his hand upon it, and give thanks, with the entire council of elders, saying:


3The Lord be with you .And all reply: And with your spirit. The bishop says: Lift up your hearts. The people respond: We have them with the Lord. The bishop says: Let us give thanks to the Lord. The people respond: It is proper and just. The bishop then continues:


4We give thanks to you God, through your beloved son Jesus Christ,

whom you sent to us in former times as Savior, Redeemer, and Messenger of your Will,5who is your inseparable Word, through whom you made all, and in whom you were well-pleased,

6whom you sent from heaven into the womb of a virgin,


who, being conceived within her, was made flesh, and appeared as your Son, born of the Holy Spirit and the virgin.


7It is he who, fulfilling your will and acquiring for you a holy people, extended his hands in suffering, in order to liberate from sufferings those who believe in you.8Who, when he was delivered to voluntary suffering, in order to dissolve death, and break the chains of the devil, and tread down hell, and bring the just to the light, and set the limit ,and manifest the resurrection,

9taking the bread, and giving thanks to you, said, "Take, eat, for this is my body which is broken for you." Likewise the chalice, saying,

This is my blood which is shed for you. 10Whenever you do this, do this (in) memory of me.


11Therefore, remembering his death and resurrection, we offer to you the bread and the chalice,


giving thanks to you, who has made us worthy to stand before you and to serve as your priests.


12And we pray that you would send your Holy Spirit


to the oblation of your Holy Church. In their gathering together, give to all those who partake of your holy mysteries the fullness of the Holy Spirit, toward the strengthening of the faith in truth,

13that we may praise you and glorify you, through your son Jesus Christ, through whom to you be glory and honor, Father and Son, with the Holy Spirit, in your Holy Church, now and throughout the ages of the ages. Amen.


5 If someone makes an offering of oil, the bishop shall give thanks in the same manner as for the oblation of the bread and wine. He does not give thanks with the same words, but quite similar, saying, 2"Sanctify this oil, God, as you give holiness to all who are anointed and receive it, as you anointed kings, priests, and

prophets, so that it may give strength to all who taste it, and health to all who use it."


6 Likewise, if someone makes an offering of cheese and olives, the bishop shall say, 2"Sanctify this brought-together milk, just as you also bring us together in your love. 3Let this fruit not leave your sweetness, this olive which is a symbol of your abundance, which you made to flow from the tree, for life to those who hope in you."


4In every blessing should be said: To you be glory, Father and Son with the Holy Spirit, in your Holy Church, now and forever, and throughout all the ages of the ages. Amen.


7 When an elder is ordained, the bishop places his hand upon his head, along with the other elders, and says according to that which was said above for the bishop, praying and saying:


2God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, look upon your servant here, and impart the spirit of grace and the wisdom of elders, that he may help and guide your people with a pure heart,

3just as you looked upon your chosen people, and commanded Moses to choose elders, whom you filled with your spirit which you gave to your attendant.


4Now, Lord, unceasingly preserving in us the spirit of your grace, make us worthy, so that being filled


we may minister to you in singlenessb of heart, praising you,


5through your son Christ Jesus, through whom to you be glory and might, Father and Son with the Holy Spirit, in your Holy Church, now and throughout the ages of the ages. Amen.


8 When one ordains a deacon, he is chosen according to what has been said above, with only the bishop laying on his hand in the same manner. In the ordination of a deacon, only the bishop lays on his hand, 2because the deacon is not ordained to the priesthood, but to the service of the bishop, to do that which

he commands. 3For he is not part of the council of the clergy, but acts as a manager, and reports to the bishop what is necessary. 4He does not


receive the spirit common to the elders, which the elders share, but that which is entrusted to him under the bishop's authority. 5This is why only the bishop makes a deacon. 6Upon the elders, the other elders place their hands because of a common spirit and similar duty. 7Indeed, the elder has only the authority to receive this, but he has no authority to give it. 8Therefore he does not ordain to the clergy. Upon the ordination of the elder he seals; the bishop ordains.


9The bishop says this over the deacon:


10O God, you who have created all and put it in order by your Word, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, whom you sent to serve by your will, and to manifest to us your desire,

11give the Holy Spirit of grace and earnestness and diligence to this your servant, whom you have chosen to serve your church and to offer up in holiness in your sanctuary that which is offered from the inheritance of your high priests,


so that serving without reproach and in purity, he may obtain a higher degree, and that he may praise you and glorify you,


12through your son Jesus Christ our Lord, through whom to you be glory, and power, and praise, with the Holy Spirit, now and always, and throughout the ages of the ages.

Amen.



9 If a confessor has been placed in chains for the Name of the Lord, hands are not laid upon him for the office of deacon or elder. He has the honor of the office of an elder through his confession. If he is instituted as a bishop, then hands will be laid upon him.


2If there is a confessor who was neither led before an authority, nor punished with bonds, nor placed in prison, nor condemned to any other penalty, but was only incidentally derided because of the Name of our Lord, and punished with domestic confinement even though he confessed, for whatever office he is worthy of hands shall be placed on him.

3The bishop shall give thanks according to all that was said above. 4It is not at all necessary that he prays with the very same words given above, as though by an effort of memory giving thanks to God. Each shall pray whatever is according to his ability. 5If someone has the ability to pray a lengthy and solemn prayer, that is well. If someone else, in praying, offers a short prayer, this is not to be prevented. That prayer must only be correct in orthodoxy.


10 When a widow is appointed, she is not ordained, but is chosen by name. 2If her husband has been dead a long time, she is appointed. 3If it has not been a long time since her husband died, she may not be trusted. If, however, she is old, let her be tested for a time. For often the passions grow old with those who give them a place in themselves. 4The widow is appointed by word alone, and then may join the rest of the widows. Do not lay hands upon her, for she does not offer the oblation, nor does she have a liturgical duty.

5Ordination is for the clergy because of liturgical duty. The widow is appointed because of prayer, which is a duty for all.


11 The reader is appointed when the bishop gives the book to him. He does not have hands laid upon him.


12 Hands are not laid on a virgin, for a decision alone makes her a virgin. 13 Hands are not laid on the sub-deacon. He is chosen by name to assist the deacon.


14 If someone among the laity is seen to have received a gift of healing by revelation, hands are not laid upon such a one, for the matter is obvious.

15 Those who are newly brought forward to hear the Word shall first be brought before the teachers at the house, before all the people enter. 2Then they will be questioned concerning the reason that they have come forward to the faith.

Those who bring them will bear witness concerning them as to whether they are able to hear. 3They shall be questioned concerning their life and occupation, marriage status, and whether they are slave or free.

4If they are the slaves of any of the faithful, and if their masters permit them, they may hear the Word. If their masters do not bear witness that they are good, let them be rejected.

5If their masters are pagans, teach them to please their masters, so that there will be no blasphemy.


6If a man has a wife, or a woman has a husband, let them be taught to be content, the husband with his wife, and the wife with her husband. 7If there is a man who does not live with a woman, let him be taught not to fornicate, but to either take a wife according to the law, or to remain as is.


8If there is someone who has a demon, such a one shall not hear the Word of the teacher until purified.


16 They will inquire concerning the works and occupations of those are who are brought forward for instruction. 2If someone is a pimp who supports prostitutes, he shall

cease or shall be rejected. 3If someone is a sculptor or a painter, let them be taught not to make idols. Either let them cease or let them be rejected. 4If someone is an actor or does shows in the theater, either he shall cease or he shall be rejected. 5If someone teaches children (worldly knowledge), it is good that he cease. But if he has no (other) trade, let him be permitted. 6A charioteer, likewise, or one who takes part in the games, or one who goes to the games, he shall cease or he shall be rejected. 7If someone is a gladiator, or one who teaches those among the gladiators how to fight, or a hunter who is in the wild beast shows in the arena, or a public official who is concerned with gladiator shows, either he shall cease, or he shall be rejected. 8If someone is a priest of idols, or an attendant of idols, he shall cease or he shall be rejected. 9A military man in authority must not execute men.


If he is ordered, he must not carry it out. Nor must he take military oath. If he refuses, he shall be rejected. 10If someone is a military governor, or the ruler of a city who wears the purple, he shall cease or he shall be rejected. 11The catechumen or faithful who wants to become a soldier is to be rejected, for he has despised God. 12The prostitute, the wanton man, the one who castrates himself, or one who does that which may not be mentioned, are to be rejected, for they are impure. 13A magus shall not even be brought forward for

consideration. 14 An enchanter, or astrologer, or diviner, or interpreter of dreams, or a charlatan, or one who makes amulets, either they shall cease or they shall be rejected. 15If someone's concubine is a slave, as long as she has raised her children and has clung only to him, let her hear. Otherwise, she shall be rejected. 16The man who has a concubine must cease and take a wife according to the law. If he will not, he shall be rejected.


17 Catechumens will hear the word for three years. 2Yet if someone is earnest and perseveres well in the matter, it is not the time that is judged, but the conduct.


18 When the teacher finishes his instruction, the catechumens will pray by themselves, separate from the faithful. 2The women will also pray in another place in the church, by themselves, whether faithful women or catechumen women. 3After the catechumens have finished praying, they do not give the kiss of peace, for their kiss is not yet pure. 4But the faithful shall greet one another with a kiss, men with men, and women with women. Men must not greet women with a kiss.


5All the women should cover their heads with a pallium, and not simply with a piece of linen, which is not a proper veil.


19 After the prayer, the teacher shall lay hands upon the catechumens, pray, and dismiss them. Whether such is one of the laypeople or of the clergy, let him do so.

2If any catechumens are apprehended because of the Name of the Lord, let them not be double-hearted because of martyrdom. If they may suffer violence and be executed with their sins not removed, they will be justified, for they have received baptism in their own blood.


20 When they are chosen who are to receive baptism, let their lives be examined, whether they have lived honorably while catechumens, whether they honored the widows, whether they visited the sick, and whether they have done every good work.. 2If those who bring them forward bear witness for them that they have done so, then let them hear the Gospel.


3From the time at which they are set apart, place hands upon them daily so that they are exorcised. When the day approaches on which they are to be baptized, let the bishop exorcise each one of them, so that he will be certain whether each has been purified.


4If there are any who are not purified, they shall be set apart. They have not heard the Word in faith, for the foreign spirit remained with each of them.

5Let those who are to be baptized be instructed that they bathe and wash on the fifth day of the week. 6If a woman is in the manner of women, let her be set apart and receive baptism another day.

7Those who are to receive baptism shall fast on the Preparation of the Sabbath. On the Sabbath, those who are to receive baptism shall all gather together in one place chosen according to the will of the bishop. They shall be commanded to pray and kneel. 8Then, laying his hand on them, he will exorcise every foreign spirit, so that they flee from them and


never return to them. When he has finished exorcising them, he shall breathe on their faces


and seal their foreheads, ears and noses. Then he shall raise them up.



9They shall all keep vigil all night, reading and instructing them.


10Those who are to be baptized are not to bring any vessel, only that which each brings for the eucharist. It is indeed proper that each bring the oblation in the same hour.


21 At the hour in which the cock crows, they shall first pray over the water. 2When they come to the water, the water shall be pure and flowing, that is, the water of a spring or a flowing body of water. 3Then they shall take off all their clothes. 4The children shall be baptized first. All of the children who can answer for themselves, let them answer. If there

are any children who cannot answer for themselves, let their parents answer for them, or someone else from their family. 5After this, the men will be baptized. Finally, the women, after they have unbound their hair, and removed their

jewelry. No one shall take any foreign object with themselves down into the water.


6At the time determined for baptism, the bishop shall give thanks over some oil, which he puts in a vessel. It is called the Oil of Thanksgiving. 7He shall take some more oil and exorcise it. It is called the Oil of Exorcism. 8A deacon shall hold the Oil of Exorcism and stand on the left. Another deacon shall hold the Oil of Thanksgiving and stand on the right.


9When the elder takes hold of each of them who are to receive baptism, he shall tell each of them to renounce, saying, "I renounce you Satan, all your service, and all your works."

10After he has said this, he shall anoint each with the Oil of Exorcism, saying, "Let every evil spirit depart from you." 11Then, after these things, the bishop passes each of them on nude to the elder who stands at the water. They shall stand in the water naked. A deacon, likewise, will go down with them into the water. 12When each of them to be baptized has gone down into the water, the one baptizing shall lay hands on each of them, asking, "Do you believe in God the Father Almighty?" 13And the one being baptized shall answer, "I believe." 14He shall then baptize each of them once, laying his hand upon each of their heads. 15Then he shall ask, "Do you believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who was born of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary, who was crucified under Pontius Pilate, and died, and rose on the third day living from the dead, and ascended into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of the Father, the one coming to judge the living and the dead?"


16When each has answered, "I believe," he shall baptize a second time. 17Then he shall ask, "Do you believe in the Holy Spirit and the Holy Church and the resurrection of the flesh?" 18Then each being baptized shall answer,

"I believe." And thus let him baptize the third time.



19Afterward, when they have come up out of the water, they shall be anointed by the elder with the Oil of Thanksgiving, saying, "I anoint you with holy oil in the

name of Jesus Christ." 20Then, drying themselves, they shall dress and afterwards gather in the church.


21The bishop will then lay his hand upon them, invoking, saying,


"Lord God, you who have made these worthy of the removal of sins through the bath of regeneration, make them worthy to be filled with your Holy Spirit, grant to them your grace, that they might serve you according to your will,

for to you is the glory, Father and Son with the Holy Spirit, in the Holy Church, now and throughout the ages of the ages. Amen.


22After this he pours the oil into his hand, and laying his hand on each of their heads, says, "I anoint you with holy oil in God the Father Almighty, and Christ Jesus, and the Holy Spirit."


23Then, after sealing each of them on the forehead, he shall give them the kiss of peace and say, "The Lord be with you." And the one who has been baptized shall say, "And with your spirit."


24So shall he do to each one.25From then on they will pray together will all the people. Prior to this they may not pray with the faithful until they have completed all. 26After they pray, let them give the kiss of peace.

27Then the deacons shall immediately bring the oblation. The bishop shall bless the bread, which is the symbol of the Body of Christ; and the bowl of mixed wine, which is the symbol of the Blood which has been shed for all who believe in him; 28and the milk and honey mixed together, in fulfillment of the promise made to the fathers, in which he said, "a land flowing with milk and honey," which Christ indeed gave, his Flesh, through which those who believe are nourished like little children, by the sweetness of his Word, softening the bitter heart; 29and water also for an oblation, as a sign of the baptism, so that the inner person, which is psychic, may also receive the same as the body. 30The bishop shall give an explanation of all these things to those who are receiving.


31Breaking the bread, distributing a piece to each, he shall say, "The Bread of Heaven in Jesus Christ."

32And the one who receives shall answer, "Amen."



33The elders, and the deacons if there are not enough, shall hold the cups and stand together in good order and with reverence: first the one who holds the water, second the one who holds the milk, and third the one who holds the wine. 34They who partake shall taste of each three times. And he who gives shall say, "In God the Father Almighty." The one who receives shall respond, "Amen." 35The one giving shall say, "And in the Lord Jesus Christ."


The one who receives shall respond, "Amen."


36The one giving shall say, "And in the Holy Spirit, and in the Holy Church." And the one who receives shall respond, "Amen."


37It shall be done so for each.


38When these things are done, they shall be zealous to do good works, and to please God, living honorably, devoting themselves to the church, doing the things which they were taught, and advancing in piety.


39We have delivered these things to you only briefly concerning baptism and the oblation because you have already been instructed concerning the resurrection of the flesh and the rest according to what is written. 40If there is anything else which needs to be told, the bishop shall tell it privatelyd to those who receive baptism. None but the faithful may know, and even them only after receiving baptism. This is the white stone about which John said, "A new name is written on it, which no one knows except the one who received the stone."




22 On the first day of the week the bishop, if possible, shall deliver the oblation to all the people with his own hand, while the deacons break the bread. 2When the deacon brings it to the elder, the deacon shall present his platter, and the elder shall take it himself and distribute it to the people by his own hand. 3Other days they will receive the oblation according to the command of the bishop.


23 Widows and virgins will fast often and pray for the Church. The elders will fast

when they want to, as is the same for the laypeople. 2The bishop may not fast except when all the people fast. 3For often someone will bring an offering, and it cannot be rejected. For whenever the bishop breaks the bread, he must partake of it, and eat it with all who are there.


24 The deacon shall be diligent in giving the oblation to the sick, if there is no elder. 2When he has been given as much as is necessary, receiving according to how much needs to be given out, he shall give thanks, and they shall eat there.


25 When the evening has arrived, with the bishop present the deacon shall bring in a lamp. 2The bishop, standing in the midst of all the faithful present, shall give thanks. But he shall first greet all by saying, "The Lord be with you."

3And all the people shall respond, "And with your spirit." 4Then the bishop shall say, "Let us give thanks to the Lord."


5And the people shall respond, "It is proper and just. Greatness and exaltation and glory are due to him." 6But he shall not say, "Lift up your hearts," because that is said for the oblation.


7And he shall pray thus, saying, "We give thanks to you, O God, through your Son Jesus Christ our Lord, because you have enlightened us by revealing the incorruptible light.

8Therefore, having finished the length of a day, and arriving at the beginning of the night, and having been satisfied with the light of the day which you created for our satisfaction, and since we now do not lack a light for the evening through your grace, we sanctify you and glorify you,


9through your only Son our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom to you with him be glory and might and honor with the Holy Spirit,


now and always, and throughout the ages of the ages. Amen. 10Then all shall say, "Amen."


11After the meal they shall get up and pray, and the children shall sing songs, along with the virgins.

12Afterwards, the deacon holding the mixed cup of the oblation shall say a psalm from among those in which is written Alleluia. 13Then, if the elder orders it, more from the same psalms. After this, the bishop shall offer the cup, saying one of those psalms appropriate to the cup, all of which should include Alleluia. 14When the psalms are recited, all shall say, "Alleluia," which means, "We praise he who is God. Glory and praise to him who created all the world by word alone!" 15When the psalm is completed, he shall bless the cup and give of the pieces of bread to all the faithful ones.


26 When they dine, the faithful present shall take from the hand of the bishop a small piece of bread before taking their own bread, because it is blessed. Yet it is not the eucharist, like the body of the Lord. 2Before they all drink, they shall take their cups and give thanks for them. Thus they will eat and drink in purity. 3However, give the catechumens exorcised bread and cups.


27 The catechumen may not take part in the Lord's Supper. 2At every meal, those who eat shall remember him who invited them, because he requested that they might come under his roof.


28 Eat and drink in moderation. Do not drink to drunkenness, so that no one will mock you and so that he who invited you will not be grieved by your disorderly conduct. It is better that he continue to pray to be made worthy so that the saints may come to him. For indeed, as he said, "You are the salt of the earth." 2If you are all assembled and are offered a dinner gift, accept it.


3When you eat, eat sufficiently and not to excess, so that the host may have some left that he can then send to someone as leftovers of the saints, so that the one to whom it is sent may rejoice.

4Let the guests eat in silence, without arguing, saying only what the bishop allows. If someone asks a question, it shall be answered. When the bishop answers, all shall remain silent, praising him modestly, until someone else asks a question.

5And if, in the absence of the bishop, the faithful attend the meal in the presence of an elder or a deacon, they shall eat in the same way, honorably. Everyone shall be careful to receive the blessed bread and from the hand of the elder or deacon. Similarly, the catechumen will still receive exorcised.


6If laypeople only are gathered, they shall behave modestly, for a layperson cannot make


the blessed bread.



29 Each shall eat in the Name of the Lord. For this is pleasing to God that we should


show ourselves as zealots even among the pagans, all of us being unified and sober.


30 Whenever someone wishes to invite older widows to a meal, he shall send them away before sunset. 2If he cannot receive them in his own home due to his ecclesiastical office, he shall give them food and wine and send them away. Then they may eat it at home as they please.


31 All shall be diligent to offer to the bishop the firstfruits of the fruits of the first harvest.


2He shall bless them, saying, 3"We give thanks to you, God, and offer to you the firstfruits of the fruits which you have given to us as food,


having nourished them by your word, commanding the earth to bring forth all kinds of fruit for the pleasure and nourishment of men and all animals.


4For all this we praise you, God, in which you have been our benefactor, adorning all creation for us with various fruits,


5through your Son Jesus Christ our Lord,through whom to you be glory throughout the ages of the ages. Amen."


32 These are the fruits which he shall bless: the grape, fig, pomegranate, olive, pear, apple, blackberry, peach, cherry, almond, and plum. But not the pumpkin, melon, cucumber, onion, garlic, or any other vegetable.

2Sometimes flowers also are offered. The rose and lily may be offered, but no other flowers.3With all foods, give thanks to the Holy God, eating them to his glory.


33 No one must eat anything on Pascha before the oblation has been made, for with one who acts thus, it will not be counted as a fast. 2If a woman is pregnant, or if someone is sick and cannot fast for two days, let them fast on Saturday, taking bread and water if necessary. 3If are at sea or for any other necessity did not know the day, when they have learned it they shall fast after Pentecost. 4For the Passover which we celebrate is not a type, for the type has indeed passed. For this reason it no longer happens in the second month, and one should fast when one has learned the truth.


34 Each of the deacons and sub-deacons shall serve the bishop. The bishop shall be told who are the sick, so that if it seems good to him, he may visit them. For the sick are greatly comforted that the high priest remembers them.


35 The faithful, as soon as they wake up and are risen, before beginning work, shall pray to God, and then go to their work. 2But if there is any instruction in the Word, they shall give this preference and go there to hear the Word of God for the strengthening of their souls. They shall be zealous to go to the church, where the Spirit flourishes.


36 The faithful shall be careful to partake of the eucharist before eating anything else.


For if they eat with faith, even though some deadly poison is given to them, after this it will not be able to harm them.


37 All shall be careful so that no unbeliever tastes of the eucharist, nor a mouse or other animal, nor that any of it falls and is lost. For it is the Body of Christ, to be eaten by those who believe, and not to be scorned.


38 Having blessed the cup in the Name of God, you received it as the antitype of the Blood of Christ. 2Therefore do not spill from it, for some foreign spirit to lick

it up because you despised it. You will become as one who scorns the Blood, the price with which you have been bought.


39 The deacons and elders shall meet daily at the place which the bishop appoints for them. The deacons especially should not fail to meet every day, except when illness prevents them. 2When all have assembled, they shall teach all those who are in the assembly. Then, after having prayed, each one shall go to the work assigned to him.


40 Do not put a high price on burying people in the cemeteries, for they are for all the poor. However, they shall pay the wages of a workman to whoever digs the hole, and the price of the bricks. 2The bishop will provide for the caretaker there from what they offer at the assemblies , so that there is no charge for those who come to the place.

41 Let every faithful man and every faithful woman , when they rise from sleep at dawn, before they undertake any work, wash their hands and pray to God. Then they may go to work. 2But if there is some instruction in the Word, they shall go there, considering that it is God whom they hear in the one instructing. For having prayed in the assembly, they will be able to avoid all the evils of the day. The pious should consider it a great wrong if they do not go to the place in which they give instruction, especially if they know how to read.

3If there is a teacher there, let no one be late in arriving at the assembly where they give instruction. Then it shall be given to whoever speaks to utter things which are useful to each one, and you will hear things you did not know, and you will benefit from the things which the Holy Spirit will give to you through the one who instructs. In this way, your faith will be strengthened by what you will have heard. He will also tell you there what you ought to do at home. Therefore, let each one be certain to go to the assembly, to the place where the Holy Spirit flourishes.


4If there is a day when there is no instruction, let each one at home take a holy book and


read enough of it to gain an advantage from it.

5If you are at home, pray at the third hour and praise God. If you are elsewhere at that


time, pray in your heart to God. 6For in this hour Christ was seen nailed to the wood. And


thus in the Old Testament the Law instructed that the shewbread be offered at the third hour as a symbol of the Body and Blood of Christ. And the sacrifice of the irrational lamb was a symbol of the perfect Lamb. For Christ is the Shepherd, and he is also the bread which descended from heaven.


7Pray also at the sixth hour. Because when Christ was attached to the wood of the cross, the daylight ceased and became darkness. Thus you should pray a powerful prayer at this hour, imitating the cry of him who prayed and all creation was made dark for the unbelieving Jews.


8Pray also at the ninth hour a great prayer with great praise, imitating the souls of the righteous who do not lie, who glorify God who remembered his saints and sent his Word to them to enlighten them. 9For in that hour Christ was pierced in his side, pouring out water and blood, and the rest of the time of the day, he gave light until evening. This way he made the dawn of another day at the beginning of his sleep, fulfilling the type of his resurrection.


10Pray also before your body rests on your bed.


11Around midnight rise and wash your hands with water and pray. If you are married, pray together. 12But if your spouse is not yet baptized, go into another room to pray, and then return to bed. Do not hesitate to pray, for one who has been joined in marital relations is not impure. Those who have bathed have no need to wash again, for they are pure. 13By catching your breath in your hand and signing yourself with the moisture of your breath, your body is purified, even to the feet. For the gift of the Spirit and the outpouring of the baptism, proceeding from the heart of the believer as though from a fountain, purifies the one who has believed. 15Thus it is necessary to pray at this hour. For those elders who handed down the tradition to us taught us that in this hour every creature hushes for a brief moment to praise the Lord. Stars and trees and waters stand

still for an instant. All the host of angels serving him, together with the souls of the righteous, praise God. 16This is why it is important that all those who believe make certain to pray at that hour. Testifying to this, the Lord says thus, "Behold, a cry was made at midnight, saying, 'Behold the bridegroom is coming! Arise to meet him!'" And he adds, saying, "Watch, therefore, for you do not know when the hour is coming."


17Likewise, at the hour of the cock-crow, rise and pray. Because at this hour, with the cock-crow, the children of Israel refused Christ, who we know through faith, hoping daily in the hope of eternal light in the resurrection of the dead.


18With these things, all you faithful, if you do and remember them, instructing one another,


and encouraging the catechumens, you will not be able to be tempted or to perish, having


Christ always in your thoughts.



a Or church



42 If you are tempted, seal your foreheads reverently. For this is the Sign of the Passion, displayed and made manifest against the devil, provided that you do it with faith, not to be seen by men, but by presenting it with skill like a shield.


2Because the Adversary, when he sees the strength of the heart and when he sees the inner man which is animated by the Word show, formed on the exterior, the interior image of the Word, he is made to flee by the Spirit which is in you. 3This is symbolized by the Paschal lamb which was sacrificed, the blood of which Moses sprinkled on the threshold, and smeared on the doorposts. He told us of the faith which is now in us, which was given to us through the perfect Lamb.


4By sealing the forehead and eyes with the hand, we turn aside the one who is seeking to destroy us.


43 Thus, if these things are heard with grace and correct faith, they bestow edification on the Church and eternal life on the believers. 2I counsel that these

things be observed by all with good understanding. For if all who hear the apostolic tradition follow and keep it, no heretic will be able to introduce error, nor will any other person at all. 3It is in this manner that the many heresies have grown, for those who were leaders did not wish to inform themselves of the opinion of the apostles, but did what they wanted according to their own pleasure, and not what was appropriate.


4If we have omitted anything, beloved ones, God will reveal it to those who are worthy, steering Holy Church to her mooring in the quiet haven.