Ante-Nicene Father Quote of the Day

He calls with a loud voice to the Father, “Into Thine hands I commend my spirit,” that even when dying He might expend His last breath in fulfilling the prophets. Having said this, He gave up the ghost.” Who?  Did the spirit give itself up; or the flesh the spirit?  But the spirit could not have breathed itself out. That which breathes is one thing, that which is breathed is another. If the spirit is breathed it must needs be breathed by another.  If, however, there had been nothing there but spirit, it would be said to have departed rather than expired. What, however, breathes out spirit but the flesh, which both breathes the spirit whilst it has it, and breathes it out when it loses it? Indeed, if it was not flesh (upon the cross), but a phantom of flesh (and a phantom is but spirit, and so the spirit breathed its own self out, and departed as it did so), no doubt the phantom departed, when the spirit which was the phantom departed: and so the phantom and the spirit disappeared together, and were nowhere to be seen. Nothing therefore remained upon the cross, nothing hung there, after “the giving up of the ghost;” there was nothing to beg of Pilate, nothing to take down from the cross, nothing to wrap in the linen, nothing to lay in the new sepulchre. Still it was not nothing that was there. What was there, then? If a phantom Christ was yet there. If Christ had departed, He had taken away the phantom also. The only shift left to the impudence of the heretics, is to admit that what remained there was the phantom of a phantom! But what if Joseph knew that it was a body which he treated with so much piety? That same Joseph “who had not consented” with the Jews in their crime? The “happy man who walked not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stood in the way of sinners, nor sat in the seat of the scornful.”

Tertullian

Anti-Marcion Writings

The Five Books Against Marcion
Book Four

ch xlii

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