Teaching the Gospel at Different Levels
Q. What historical evidence is there that the Gospel was taught on different levels anciently as New Covenant Christians do?
A. The orthodox Christian Bishop Archelaeus of Caschar in Mesopotamia in A.D. 277 in refuting the heretic Manes is recorded as saying publicly :
"For to hear the Gospel is a thing committed to all; but the glory of the Gospel of Christ [Firstborn Gospel] is imparted only to the sincere and genuine. For this reason the Lord spake in parables to those who were incapable of hearing, but to His disciples He explained these parables in private. For the illumination of the glory is for those who have been enlightened, while the blinding is for them who believe not. These mysteries, which the Church now declares to you who are transferred from the lists of catechumens, it is not her custom to declare to the Gentiles. For we do not declare the mysteries touching the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit to a Gentile; neither do we speak of the mysteries plainly in the presence of the catechumens; but many a time we express ourselves in an occult [esoteric] manner, so that the faithful who have intelligence may apprehend the truths referred to, while those who have not that intelligence may receive no hurt" (Disputation with Manes, Fragment, from Cyril of Jerusalem, Catecheses, vi. §27-29, cited in The Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol.VI, 1993, pp.234-5; comments added by the editor in ).
This page was created on 16 October 1997
Last updated on 26 February 1998
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