DID GNOSTIC CONCEPTS INFLUENCE 2ND CENTURY CHRISTIAN THINKING?
LATIN TEXT: “...Hae [1.] sunt doctrinae hominum et daemoniorum prurientibus auribus natae de ingenio sapientiae saecularis quam Dominus stultitiam uocans stulta mundi in confusionem etiam philosophiae ipsius elegit. [2.] Ea est enim materia sapientiae saecularis, temeraria interpres diuinae naturae et dispositionis. [3.] Ipsae denique haereses a philosophia subornantur. Inde aeones et formae nescio quae infinitae et TRINITAS hominis apud VALENTINUM: Platonicus fuerat...” - (Tertulliani Liber De Praescriptione Haereticorum VII.)
TERTULLIAN: “...These are "the doctrines" of men and "of demons" produced for itching ears of the spirit of this world's wisdom: this the Lord called "foolishness," and "chose the foolish things of the world" to confound even philosophy itself. For (philosophy) it is which is the material of the world's wisdom, the rash interpreter of the nature and the dispensation of God. Indeed heresies are themselves instigated by philosophy. From this source came the AEons, and I known not what INFINITE FORMS, AND THE TRINITY OF MAN IN THE SYSTEM OF VALENTINUS, WHO WAS OF PLATO'S SCHOOL. From the same source came MARCION'S better god, with all his tranquility; he came of the STOICS...” – (Tertullian. The Prescription against Heretics, Chapter 7. TRANSLATED BY PETER HOLMES. Excerpted from Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume 3. Edited by Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson. American Edition, 1885. Online Edition Copyright © 2004 by K. Knight).
TERTULLIAN: “...THESE are the doctrines of men and of daemons, generated for itching ears by the ingenuity of that worldly wisdom which the Lord called foolish-ness, and chose the foolish things of the world to confound even philosophy itself. For philo-sophy is the theme of worldly wisdom, that rash interpreter of the Divine Nature and Order. And
in fact, heresies are themselves equipped by philo-sophy. THENCE COME VALENTINUS' "AEONS" AND I KNOW NOT WHAT INFINITE "IDEAS" AND "TRINITY OF MAN." HE WAS A PLATONIST...” – (Tertullian. The Prescription against Heretics, CHAPTER VII Chapter 7 Pages 44-46) TRANSLATED BY BINDLEY.
CLEMENT OF ALEXANDRIA (circa. 153 to 217 C.E.) QUOTING THEODOTUS: “...They say … He whom the Mother generates is led into death and into the world, but he whom Christ regenerates is transferred to life into the Ogdoad. And they: die to the world but live to God, that death may be loosed by death and corruption by resurrection. For he who has been sealed by FATHER, SON AND HOLY SPIRIT is beyond the threats of every other power and by THE THREE NAMES has been released from the whole TRIAD of corruption. "Having borne the image of the earthly, it then bears the image of the heavenly...” - (EXTRACT 79 and 80 FROM THE WORKS OF THEODOTUS AND THE SO-CALLED ORIENTAL TEACHING AT THE TIME OF VALENTINUS [Theodotus, a second-century Valentinian gnostic, that were compiled by Clement of Alexandria]. Translation by Robert Pierce Casey, The Excerpta ex Theodoto of Clement of Alexandria (Studies and Documents 1; London: Christophers, 1934), 40-91.)
Perhaps the Long Recension of Ignatius is correct when it says Gnostic heretics were "...introducing the idea of ... that the Father and Son and spirit of holiness are identical..."