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Chapter VII.—The Explanation of a Parable; The Present and the Future Life.

And Peter 1235 said:  “Are not those, then, who you said received injustice, themselves transgressors, inasmuch as they are in the kingdom of the other, and is it not by overreaching that they have obtained all they possess? while those who are thought to act unjustly are conferring a favour on each subject of the hostile kingdom, so far as they permit him to have property.  For these possessions belong to those who have chosen the present. 1236   And they are so far kind as to permit the others to live.  This, then, is the parable; now listen to the actual truth.  The prophet of the truth who appeared on earth taught us that the Maker and God of all gave two kingdoms to two, 1237 good and evil; granting to the evil the sovereignty over the present world along with law, so that he, it, should have the right to punish those who act unjustly; but to the good He gave the eternal 1238 to come.  But He made each man free with the power to give himself up to whatsoever he prefers, either to the present evil or the future good.  Those men who choose the present have power to be rich, to revel in luxury, to indulge in pleasures, and to do whatever they can.  For they will possess none of the future goods.  But those who have determined to accept the blessings of the future reign have no right to regard as their own the things that are here, since they belong to a foreign king, with the exception only of water and bread, and those things procured with sweat to maintain life (for it is not lawful for them to commit suicide), 1239 and also one garment, for they are not permitted to go naked on account of the all-seeing 1240 Heaven.



The following words would be more appropriately put in the mouth of the father, as is done in fact by the Epitomes.  Peter’s address would commence, “And the parable is.”  The Epitomes differ much from each other and the text, and there seems to be confusion in the text.


This sentence would be more appropriate in the explanation of the parable.


The Greek leaves it uncertain whether it is two persons or two things,—whether it is a good being and an evil being, or good and evil.  Afterwards, a good being and an evil are distinctly introduced.


The word ἀΐδιος, properly and strictly “eternal,” is used.


Lit., “to die willingly.”


We have adopted an obvious emendation, πάντα for παντός.

Next: Chapter VIII