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Chapter XXIV.—The Melchisedecians; The Nicolaitans.

While, however, different questions have arisen among them, a certain (heretic), who himself also was styled Theodotus, and who was by trade a banker,890890    Concerning the younger Theodotus, see [vol. iii. p. 654] Tertullian, Præscript., c. liii.; Epiphanius, Hær., lv.; and Theodoret, Hær. Fab., ii. 6. attempted to establish (the doctrine), that a certain Melchisedec constitutes the greatest power, and that this one is greater than Christ. And they allege that Christ happens to be according to the likeness (of this Melchisedec). And they themselves, similarly with those who have been previously spoken of as adherents of Theodotus, assert that Jesus is a (mere) man, and that, in conformity with the same account (already given), Christ descended upon him.

There are, however, among the Gnostics diversities of opinion; but we have decided that it would not be worth while to enumerate the silly doctrines of these (heretics), inasmuch as they are (too) numerous and devoid of reason, and full of blasphemy. Now, even those (of the heretics) who are of a more serious turn in regard of891891    Or, “in reference to” (Bunsen). the Divinity, and have derived their systems of speculation from the Greeks, must stand convicted892892    Or, “have been adduced” (Miller). (of these charges). But Nicolaus893893    See [ut supra] Irenæus, i. 26; [ut supra] Tertullian, Præscript., c. xlv.; Epiphanius, Hær., c. xxv.; Eusebius, Hist. Ecclesiast., iii. 29; Theodoret, Hær. Fab., i. 15; and St. Augustine, Hær., c. v. [But see Clement, vol. ii. p. 373, this series.] has been a cause of the wide-spread combination of these wicked men. He, as one of the seven (that were chosen) for the diaconate,894894    [He understands that the seven (Acts vi. 5) were deacons. Bunsen, i. p. 97.] was appointed by the Apostles. (But Nicolaus) departed from correct doctrine, and was in the habit of inculcating indifferency of both life and food.895895    Or, “knowledge.” Bunsen suggests βρώσεως, as translated above. And when the disciples (of Nicolaus) continued to offer insult to the Holy Spirit, John reproved them in the Apocalypse as fornicators and eaters of things offered unto idols.896896    Rev. ii. 6.

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