« Cerdo (Cerdon) Cerinthus Cesarini, Giuliano (Julian Cesarini) »


CERINTHUS: Gnostic teacher of Asia Minor, about 100 A.D. According to Irenæus (I. xxvi. 1), he taught that the world was not created by the first God, but by a subordinate power. Jesus was 497a son of Joseph and Mary, but was wiser and more righteous than other men. After his baptism the spirit of the all-sublime power of God descended upon him in the form of a dove. From now on he preached the unknown Father and performed miracles. Finally the "Christ" forsook him, but "Jesus" suffered and rose again, whereas the spiritual Christ did not suffer. John directed his Gospel especially against Cerinthus (III. xi. 1), and in proof of the aversion which the apostle felt toward this heretic Irenæus (III. iii. 4) tells a story from Polycarp that the two met once in the baths at Ephesus, whereupon the apostle fled, "lest even the bath-house fall down because Cerinthus is inside." In the main the story is credible, but the later story (cf. Epiphanius, Hær., xxviii. and others) of the Judaism of Cerinthus is an invention. The assertion of the Roman Caius that Cerinthus is the author of the Apocalypse is certainly erroneous.

G. Krüger.

Bibliography: R. A. Lipsius, Zur Quellenkritik des Epiphanius, pp. 115–122, Vienna, 1865; A. Hilgenfeld. Ketzergeschichte des Urchristentums, pp. 411–421, Leipsic, 1884; A. Harnack, Dogmengeschichte, i. 234–235, Freiburg, 1894, Eng. transl., iii. 14–19, Boston, 1897; T. Zahn, Geschichte des neutestamentlichen Kanons, 2 vols., Erlangen, 1888–92; Krüger, History, p. 68 and literature given there.

« Cerdo (Cerdon) Cerinthus Cesarini, Giuliano (Julian Cesarini) »
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