Epiphanius of Salamis - Alogi rejection of Johannine writings

Steven Avery

Search Epiphanius without Alogi
(Stillingfleet 162 163 166 10-14 per Grantley )

John of Damascus
anonymous author of Praedestinatus,


George Bull


Burgess contra Michaelis


Quarterly Review

Richard Cattermole quotes Bishop George Bull

William Cooke
minor - skip

In the second century there arose a sect, to which Epiphanius has given the title of Alogi {1}, because they would not admit the application of the term Logos to Christ. The reason, which they assigned, was, that Cerinthus had applied the term in this manner: whence they argued, that it could not have been thus used by an Apostle. Accordingly, they rejected both St. John's Gospel, and the Apocalypse: and they not only denied, that St. John was the author of these two books, but even ascribed them to Cerinthus. It is evident therefore, that men of this description must have rejected likewise the first Epistle of St. John, if in their time it had contained the controverted passage: for there the term Logos is undoubtedly applied to the second person of the Trinity. If then it can be shown, that the Alogi made no objection to this Epistle, we must conclude, that ch. v. 7. was not contained in the Greek manuscripts, which existed in the second century: for had it been contained in any copies, however few, so remarkable a passage could not have remained unknown to them.

The oldest writer, who has given any account of these persons, is Philastrius, who expressly declares, that they rejected St. John's Gospel, and the Apocalypse; but he says nothing of their rejection of any of his Epistles {1}. The next writer, who has mentioned this sect, is Epiphanius, who collected, with the utmost zeal, all historical information, which he could obtain, against the heretics, and has frequently charged them with more than his information warranted. But in the present instance, though he has asserted, that the Alogi rejected the Gospel of St. John and the Apocalypse, and sometimes speaks in indefinite terms of their rejecting St. John's writings, yet when he mentions St. John's Epistles in particular, he does not say, that the Alogi rejected these likewise; he hints only a private suspicion, that they perhaps did so. I will quote the words of Epiphanius, Haeres. LI. ^3. that the reader may judge for himself.
Last edited:

Steven Avery


The Alogi reject John's Epistle

[Burgess] ...Epiphanius says, generally, that the Alogi rejected the writings of St. John because they [the Alogi] denied the Divinity of the Logos. They must therefore have rejected the Epistle, in which that doctrine is more fully asserted than in the Gospel or Apocalypse. [PAGE 121] ...For the Epistle and the Gospel call the Son of God THE WORD; but the Epistle and the Apocalypse differ a little in their designation of the Son of God, one calling him THE WORD OF LIFE, the other, THE WORD OF GOD. Such concurrence leaves no doubt of their [the Alogi’s] rejection of the first Epistle.
(Burgess, A Vindication of 1 John, V. 7. from the Objections of M. Griesbach: in Which Is Given a New View of the External Evidence, with Greek Authorities for the Authenticity of the Verse, 1823, 2nd edition, p. 119-121)

[Epiphanius] 50.3,1 Now these”Alogi”say (this is what I call them). They shall be so called from now on,and let us give them this name, beloved: Alogi. (2) For they believed in the heresy for which < that* > name < was a good one* >, since it rejects the books by John. As they do not accept the Word which John preaches, they shall be called Dumb.10 (3) As complete strangers to the truth’s message they deny its purity, and accept neither John’s Gospel nor his Revelation. 50.3,4 And if they accepted the Gospel but rejected the Revelation, I would say they might be doing it from scrupulousness, and refusing to accept an”apocryphon” because of the deep and difficult sayings in the Revelation. (5) But since they do not accept the books in which St. John actually proclaimed his Gospel, it must be plain to everyone that they and their kind are the ones of whom St. John said in his General Epistles, ”It is the last hour and ye have heard that Antichrist cometh; even now, lo, there are many Antichrists.”11 (6) For they offer excuses [for their behavior]. Knowing, as they do, that St. John was an apostle and the Lord’s beloved, that the Lord rightly revealed the mysteries to him, and < that he* > leaned upon his breast, they are ashamed to contradict him and try to object to these mysteries for a different reason. For they say that they are not John’s composition but Cerinthus’, and have no right to a place in the church. 50.4,1 And it can be shown at once, from this very attack, that they”understand neither what they say nor whereof they affirm.”12 How can the words which are directed against Cerinthus be by Cerinthus? (2) Cerinthus says that Christ is of recent origin and a mere man, while John has proclaimed that < he > is the eternal Word, and has come from on high and been made flesh. From the very outset, then, their worthless quibble is exposed as foolish, and unaware of its own refutation.

(Epiphanius, Panarion, p. 28; Translated by Frank Williams, 2013.)
[Epiphanius] 34,1 Again, in their endless hunt for texts, to give the appearance of discrediting the holy apostle’s books—I mean John’s Gospel and Revelation and perhaps the Epistles as well, for they too agree with the Gospel and Revelation—these people get excited (2) and quote,”I saw, and he said to the angel, Loose the four angels which are upon the Euphrates. And I heard the number of the host, ten thousand times ten thousand and thousands of thousands, and they were clad in breastplates of fire and sulfur and hyacinth.”
(Epiphanius, Panarion, p. 67; Translated by Frank Williams, 2013.)

[Nolan] As far as I can collect from his [St. Epiphanius] words, [PAGE 569] he has implicitly declared that they [the Alogi] objected not less to the Epistles written by St. John, than to his Gospel. (fn. 244. St. Epiphanius expresses himself on the present subject in the following unqualified terms. ...The connexion of the sense, in the last clause of this sentence, apparently renders it necessary that we should suppose the Alogi rejected the Catholic Epistles; and Petavius [D. Petavius, SJ, 2 vols., Paris, 1622; repr. in J. P. Migne, PG 41–3] accordingly renders the first clause; ”but they especially reject the books of John altogether” (Latin: sed com universos Joannis libros proprie rejiciant, &c.)
(Nolan, An Inquiry into the Integrity of the Greek Vulgate, or Received Text of the New Testament, 1815, p. 568-569)
Last edited:

Steven Avery

Epiphanius of Salamis (310–403 AD)
Epiphanius of Salamis (Greek: Ἐπιφάνιος; c. 310–320 – 403) was the bishop of Salamis, Cyprus at the end of the 4th century. He is considered a saint and a Church Father by both the Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches. He gained a reputation as a strong defender of orthodoxy. Epiphanius was either born into a Romaniote Christian family or became a Christian in his youth. Either way, he was a Romaniote Jew who was born in the small settlement of Besanduk, near Eleutheropolis (modern-day Beit Guvrin, Israel),[3] and lived as a monk in Egypt, where he was educated and came into contact with Valentinian groups. He returned to Palestine around 333, when he was still a young man, and he founded a monastery at Ad nearby,[4] which is often mentioned in the polemics of Jerome with Rufinus and John, Bishop of Jerusalem. He was ordained a priest, and lived and studied as superior of the monastery in Ad that he founded for thirty years and gained much skill and knowledge in that position. In that position he gained the ability to speak in several tongues, including Hebrew, Syriac, Egyptian, Greek, and Latin, and was called by Jerome on that account Pentaglossos ("Five tongued").[5]

His reputation for learning prompted his nomination and consecration as Bishop of Salamis, Cyprus,[6] in 365 or 367, a post which he held until his death. He was also the Metropolitan of the Church of Cyprus. He served as bishop for nearly forty years, as well as travelled widely to combat unorthodox beliefs. He was present at a synod in Antioch (376) where the Trinitarian questions were debated against the heresy of Apollinarianism. He upheld the position of Bishop Paulinus, who had the support of Rome, over that of Meletius of Antioch, who was supported by the Eastern Churches. In 382 he was present at the Council of Rome, again upholding the cause of Paulinus.


Epiphanius' best-known book is the Panarion which means ”medicine-chest” (also known as Adversus Haereses, ”Against Heresies"), presented as a book of antidotes for those bitten by the serpent of heresy. Written between 374 and 377, it forms a handbook for dealing with the arguments of heretics. It lists, and refutes, 80 heresies, some of which are not described in any other surviving documents from the time. Epiphanius begins with the 'four mothers' of pre-Christian heresy – 'barbarism', 'Scythism', 'Hellenism' and 'Judaism' – and then addresses the sixteen pre-Christian heresies that have flowed from them: four philosophical schools (Stoics, Platonists, Pythagoreans and Epicureans), and twelve Jewish sects. There then follows an interlude, telling of the Incarnation of the Word. After this, Epiphanius embarks on his account of the sixty Christian heresies, from assorted gnostics to the various trinitarian heresies of the fourth century, closing with the Collyridians and Messalians.[11]


Origenist controversy and death
In 402, Bishop Theophilus of Alexandria .... summoned a council in Constantinople, and invited those supportive of his anti-Origenist views. Epiphanius, by this time nearly 80, was one of those summoned, and began the journey to Constantinople. However, when he realised he was being used as a tool by Theophilus against Chrysostom, who had given refuge to the monks persecuted by Theophilus and who were appealing to the emperor, Epiphanius started back to Salamis, only to die on the way home in 403.

Epiphanius of Salamis. Wikipedia. <en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epiphanius_of_Salamis>.


● [Panarion : Against Arians Nuts]
But I am obliged to speak further here, about the Holy Spirit, or, if I leave anything out, I may give the enemy, who want < to contradict >, a chance to hold their < wicked beliefs* >. For it is the same with the Holy Spirit, as the Lord himself testifies by saying ”the Spirit of truth ”and ”the Spirit of the Father,” 115 but the apostle by saying ”Spirit of Christ.” Thus, being the Spirit of the Father [and] the Spirit of the Son, the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of truth, the Spirit of God, just as God is true God, just as he is true light. For there is one Trinity, one glory, one Godhead, one Lordship. The Father is a father, the Son is a son, the Holy Spirit is a holy spirit. The Trinity is not an identity, not separate from its own unity, not wanting in perfection, not strange to its own identity, but is one Perfection, three Perfects, one Godhead.
(Epiphanius of Salamis, Panarion, Anacephalaeosis V.33. Against the Arian Nuts; Translated by Frank Williams, 2017, vol 2, p. 361)

○ Greek: Ἔτι δὲ καὶ περὶ τοῦ ἁγίου πνεύματος ἀναγκάζομαι τοῦ λέγειν ἐνταῦθα, ἵνα μὴ παραλείψας τι δῶ τοῖς βουλομένοις <ἀντιλέγειν> ἐχθροῖς τὰς αὐτῶν ἔχειν * πρόφασιν. οὕτω γὰρ καὶ τὸ πνεῦμα τὸ ἅγιον, ὡς αὐτὸς ὁ κύριος μαρτυρεῖ λέγων «τὸ πνεῦμα τῆς ἀληθείας», «τὸ πνεῦμα τοῦ πατρός», ὁ δὲ ἀπόστολος «πνεῦμα Χριστοῦ». ἄρα γοῦν τὸ πνεῦμα τὸ ἅγιον πνεῦμα ἀληθείας, πνεῦμα θεοῦ, ὡς θεὸς ἀληθινός, ὡς φῶς ἀληθινόν, ὡς πνεῦμα πατρός, ὡς πνεῦμα υἱοῦ. μία γάρ ἐστιν ἡ τριάς, μία ἡ δοξολογία, μία ἡ θεότης, μία ἡ κυριότης. πατὴρ πατήρ, υἱὸς υἱός. ἅγιον πνεῦμα ἅγιον πνεῦμα, οὐ συναλοιφὴ ἡ τριάς, οὐ διεστῶσα τῆς ἰδίας αὐτῆς μονάδος, οὐκ ἐλλιπὴς τῆς τελειότητος, οὐκ ἀλλοία τῆς ἰδίας ἰδιότητος, ἀλλὰ πάντα τελειότης, τρία τέλεια, μία θεότης.
(Epiphanius of Salamis, Panarion, Anacephalaeosis V.33 Against the Arian Nuts; Migne Graeca, PG 42.253)

● [Panarion : Against Arians Nuts]
And again, to teach his disciples his co-essentiality with the Father, he says, ”If any man open to me, I and my Father will come in and make our abode with him.”215 And [here] he no longer said, ”I shall be sent by my Father,” but, ”I and my Father will < make our abode > with him, ”with the Son knocking and the Father entering with him, so that it is everlasting, and neither is the Father separated from the Son nor the Son separated from his Father. (6) And so he says in another passage, ”I am the way, and by me shall they go in unto the Father.”216 And lest it be thought that < he > is less than the Father because they go in to the Father by him, he says, ”No man can come unto me unless my heavenly Father draw him.”217 (7) Thus the Father brings him to the Son and the Son brings him to the Father, but brings him in the Holy Spirit. The Trinity is forever eternal, one unity of Godhead, three Perfects, one Godhead. And the Arians’ argument has failed.
(Epiphanius of Salamis, Panarion, Anacephalaeosis V.54. Against the Arian Nuts; Translated by Frank Williams, 2017, vol 2, p.

○ Greek: καὶ πάλιν φησί, δεικνύων τοῖς αὐτοῦ μαθηταῖς περὶ τῆς πρὸς τὸν πατέρα αὐτοῦ ὁμοουσιότητος, λέγων· «ἐάν τις ἀνοίξῃ μοι, εἰσελθὼν ἐγὼ καὶ ὁ πατήρ μου μονὴν παρ' αὐτῷ ποιήσομεν». καὶ οὐκέτι εἶπεν ἀποσταλήσομαι ὑπὸ τοῦ πατρός μου· ἀλλ' «ἐγὼ καὶ ὁ πατὴρ <μονὴν ποιήσομεν> παρ' αὐτῷ», ὡς κρούοντος τοῦ υἱοῦ καὶ τοῦ πατρὸς σὺν αὐτῷ εἰσερχομένου, ὡς ἀεὶ εἶναι καὶ μηδέποτε διαλιπεῖν πατέρα ἀπὸ υἱοῦ καὶ υἱὸν ἀπὸ τοῦ ἰδίου πατρός. διὸ καὶ ἐν ἑτέρῳ τόπῳ λέγει «ἐγώ εἰμι ἡ ὁδὸς καὶ δι' ἐμοῦ εἰσελεύσονται πρὸς τὸν πατέρα». καὶ ἵνα μή τινες ἥσσονα <αὐτὸν> πρὸς τὸν πατέρα νομίσωσι διὰ τὸ δι' αὐτοῦ πρὸς τὸν πατέρα εἰσιέναι, φησίν, «οὐδεὶς ἐλεύσεται πρός με, ἐὰν μὴ ὁ πατήρ μου ὁ οὐράνιος ἑλκύσῃ αὐτόν». ὁ πατὴρ οὖν φέρει πρὸς τὸν υἱὸν καὶ ὁ υἱὸς φέρει πρὸς τὸν πατέρα, εἰσφέρει δὲ ἐν πνεύματι ἁγίῳ. ἀεὶ γὰρ πάντοτε ἡ τριὰς ἐν μιᾷ ἑνότητι θεότητος, τρία τέλεια, μία θεότης. καὶ διέπεσεν ὁ τούτων λόγος.
(Epiphanius of Salamis, Panarion, Anacephalaeosis V.54. Against the Arian Nuts; Migne Graeca, PG 42.288)

● [Panarion : Against Bardesianists]
For if he [the Holy Spirit] were a thing that is made he would not be reckoned in with the uncreated Father and the uncreated Son. But because he is uncreated he is so reckoned; the scripture said, ”Go baptize in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”238 And how can the Spirit be created when it is testified of him that ”He proceeded from the Father”239 and ”received of me,”240 and through him man’s full salvation, and everything required for the human nature, was made complete. (11) For
scripture says of the Lord, ”God anointed him with the Holy Spirit.”241 But the Father would not have anointed Christ’s human nature, which had been united in one Godhead with the divine Word, with a creature.
However, since the Trinity is one, three Perfects, one Godhead, this needed to be done for the Son in the dispensation of the incarnation, so that the Trinity, completely glorified in all things, would be observed to be < one >. I have cited no [mere] one or two texts against all the sects in my discussions of the Spirit, to prove that he is the Spirit of God, glorified with the Father and the Son, uncreated, changeless and perfect. And, in its turn, the argument against themselves that the trouble-makers < have invented > about him has proved a failure.
(Epiphanius of Salamis, Panarion, Anacephalaeosis IV.56. Against Bardesianists; Translated by Frank Williams, 2017, vol 2, p. 383-384)

○ Greek: εἰ γὰρ ἦν τῶν γεγονότων, οὐκ ἂν τῷ ἀκτίστῳ πατρὶ καὶ υἱῷ ἀκτίστῳ συνηριθμεῖτο, ἀλλ' ὅτι
ἄκτιστόν ἐστιν συναριθμεῖται· εἶπε γὰρ «ἀπελθόντες βαπτίσατε εἰς ὄνομα πατρὸς καὶ υἱοῦ καὶ ἁγίου
πνεύματος». πῶς δὲ κτιστὸν εἴη τὸ πνεῦμα τὸ μαρτυρούμενον ὅτι «ἐκ τοῦ πατρὸς ἐκπορεύεται”καὶ «ἐκ τοῦ
ἐμοῦ λαμβάνει», δι' οὗ καὶ ἡ τελεία τῶν ἀνθρώπων σωτηρία καὶ ἔνσαρκος οἰκονομία εἰς πᾶσαν δικαίωσιν
ἐπληρώθη. «ἔχρισε γὰρ αὐτὸν πνεύματι ἁγίῳ» φησὶν ἡ γραφὴ περὶ τοῦ κυρίου. οὐκ ἂν δὲ τὴν ἔνσαρκον
οἰκονομίαν σὺν τῷ θεῷ λόγῳ ἡνωμένην εἰς μίαν θεότητα ἔχρισεν ὁ πατὴρ κτίσματι, ἀλλ' ἐπειδὴ μία ἐστὶν
ἡ τριάς, τρία τέλεια, μία θεότης, ἔδει ἐν τῷ υἱῷ οἰκονομικῶς τοῦτο γενέσθαι, ἵνα παντάπασι δοξαζομένη ἐν
ἅπασι <μία> νοηθῇ ἡ τρίας, καθάπερ κατὰ πασῶν τῶν αἱρέσεων περὶ πνεύματος διηγούμενοι οὐ μίαν, οὐ
δύο μαρτυρίας εἰσενέγκαμεν, ὅτι θεοῦ ἐστι πνεῦμα σὺν πατρὶ καὶ υἱῷ δοξαζόμενον, ἄκτιστον καὶ ἄτρεπτον
καὶ τέλειον ὄν. ἐξέπεσε δὲ καὶ ὁ περὶ τούτου τῶν φιλονεικούντων λόγος ὁ καθ' ἑαυτῶν <ἐπινενοημένος>.
(Epiphanius of Salamis, Panarion, Anacephalaeosis IV.56. Against Bardesianists; Migne Graeca, PG 42.292)


Frank Williams books


Frank Williams books

Last edited: