Irenaeus is Hilarious

Irenaeus makes such excellent use of sarcasm that when I read this a while back I literally erupted with peals of laughter. Irenaeus is responding to one of the disciples of Valentinus, called here Secundus perhaps pejoratively, when he mocks their presentation of the pleroma demonstrating the subjective nature of Gnostic cosmology.

But, in that case, nothing hinders any other, in dealing with the same subject, to affix names after such a fashion as the following: There is a certain Proarche, royal, surpassing all thought, a power existing before every other substance, and extended into space in every direction. But along with it there exists a power which I term a Gourd; and along with this Gourd there exists a power which again I term Utter-Emptiness. This Gourd and Emptiness, since they are one, produced (and yet did not simply produce, so as to be apart from themselves) a fruit, everywhere visible, eatable, and delicious, which fruit-language calls a Cucumber. Along with this Cucumber exists a power of the same essence, which again I call a Melon. These powers, the Gourd, Utter-Emptiness, the Cucumber, and the Melon, brought forth the remaining multitude of the delirious melons of Valentinus.

Irenaeus Against Heresies 11.4

Irenaeus has to be one of the funniest writers in Church History!

  1 comment for “Irenaeus is Hilarious

  1. November 5, 2009 at 6:57 am

    Jim West has him beat though.

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