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Chapter XI.—Discussion on Genesis.

And Peter said:  “You did this according to your resolution.  But in regard to Genesis, were you merely playing a part when you affirmed it, or were you in earnest in asserting that it existed?”  Our father said:  “I will not speak falsely to you.  I was in earnest when I maintained that Genesis existed.  For I am not uninitiated in the science; on the contrary, I associated with one who is the best of the astrologers, an Egyptian of the name of Annubion, who became my friend in the commencement of my travels, and disclosed to me the death of my wife and children.” 1213   And Peter said:  “Are you not now convinced by facts, that the doctrine of Genesis has no firm foundation?”  And my father answered:  “I must lay before you all the ideas that occur to my mind, that listening to them I may understand your refutation of them. 1214   I know, indeed, that astrologers both make many mistakes, and frequently speak the truth.  I suspect, therefore, that they speak the truth so far as they are accurately acquainted with the science, and that their mistakes are the result of ignorance; so that I conjecture that the science has a firm foundation, but that the astrologers themselves speak what is false solely on account of ignorance, because they cannot know all things with absolute 1215 accuracy.”  And Peter answered:  “Consider 1216 whether their speaking of the truth is not accidental, and whether they do not make their declarations without knowing the matters accurately.  For it must by all means happen that, when many prophecies are uttered, some of them should come true.”  And the old man said:  “How, then, is it possible to be fully convinced of this, whether the science of Genesis has a sure foundation or not?”



[Comp. Homily IV. 6.  Annubion and Appion are not introduced in the Recognitions until book x. 52.—R.]


Here mss. and Epitomes differ in their readings.  The text adopted seems a combination of two ideas:  “that you may listen and refute them, and that I may thus learn the truth.”


We have adopted the reading of Codex O, πάντως.  The other ms. reads, “that all cannot know all things accurately.”


The mss. read ἄπεχε, “hold back.”  The reading of the text is in an Epitome.

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