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Atonement – Christus Victor, Recapitulation and Ransom Atonement

For to this end the Lord endured to deliver up His flesh to corruption, that we might be sanctified through the remission of sins, which is effected by His blood of sprinkling. For it is written concerning Him, partly with reference to Israel, and partly to us; and [the Scripture] said thus: “He was wounded for our transgressions, and braised for our iniquities: with His stripes we are healed. He was brought as a sheep to the slaughter, and as a lamb which is dumb before its shearer.” Barnabas (A.D. 70-130) ch.5

Let us look steadfastly to the blood of Christ, and see how precious that blood is to God, which, having been shed for our salvation, has set the grace of repentance before the whole world. Clement of Rome (A.D. 96) ch.7

…being imitators of God, and having your hearts kindled in the blood of God, you have perfectly fulfilled your congenial work. Ignatius: to the Ephesians (A.D. 35-105) ch.1

Jesus Christ… unto whom all things were made subject that are in heaven and that are on the earth; to whom every creature that has breath does service; who comes as judge of quick and dead; whose blood God will require of them that are disobedient unto Him. Polycarp (A.D. 69-156) ch. 2

And that expression which was committed to writing by Moses, and prophesied by the patriarch Jacob, namely, ‘He shall wash His garments with wine, and His vesture with the blood of the grape,’ signified that He would wash those that believe in Him with His own blood. For the Holy Spirit called those who receive remission of sins through Him, His garments; amongst whom He is always present in power, but will be manifestly present at His second coming. That the Scripture mentions the blood of the grape has been evidently designed, because Christ derives blood not from the seed of man, but from the power of God. Justin Martyr (A.D. 160) Ante-Nicene Fathers vol.1 pg.222

I affirm that He announced beforehand the future salvation for the human race through the blood of Christ. For the sign of the scarlet thread, which the spies, sent to Jericho by Joshua, son of Nave (Nun), gave to Rahab the harlot, telling her to bind it to the window through which she let them down to escape from their enemies, also manifested the symbol of the blood of Christ, by which those who were at one time harlots and unrighteous persons out of all nations are saved, receiving remission of sins, and continuing no longer in sin. Justin Martyr (A.D. 160) Ante-Nicene Fathers vol.1 pg.254

The Lord thus has redeemed us through His own blood, giving His soul for our souls, and His flesh for our flesh, and has also poured out the Spirit of the Father for the union and communion of God and man, imparting indeed God to men by means of the Spirit, and, on the other hand, attaching man to God by His own incarnation, and bestowing upon us at His coming immortality durably and truly, by means of communion with God, all the doctrines of the heretics fall to ruin. Irenaeus (A.D. 180) Ante-Nicene Fathers vol.1 pg. 527

As far as concerned the apostasy, indeed, He redeems us righteously from it by His own blood; but as regards us who have been redeemed, [He does this] graciously. For we have given nothing to Him previously, nor does He desire anything from us, as if He stood in need of it; but we do stand in need of fellowship with Him. And for this reason it was that He graciously poured Himself out, that He might gather us into the bosom of the Father. But vain in every respect are they who despise the entire dispensation of God, and disallow the salvation of the flesh, and treat with contempt its regeneration, maintaining that it is not capable of incorruption. But if this indeed does not attain salvation, then neither did the Lord redeem us with His blood, nor is the cup of the Eucharist the communion of His blood, nor the bread which we break the communion of His body… By His own blood he redeemed us, as also His apostle declares, “In whom we have redemption through His blood, even the remission of sins.” And as we are His members, we are also nourished by means of the creation (and He Himself grants the creation to us, for He causes His sun to rise, and sends rain when He wills). He has acknowledged the cup (which is a part of the creation) as His own blood, from which He bedews our blood; and the bread (also a part of the creation) He has established as His own body, from which He gives increase to our bodies. Irenaeus (A.D. 180) Ante-Nicene Fathers vol.1 pg.528

In like manner, too, did the Lord say to those who should afterwards shed His blood, “All righteous blood shall be required which is shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zacharias the son of Barachias, whom you slew between the temple and the altar. Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation.” He thus points out the recapitulation that should take place in his own person of the effusion of blood from the beginning, of all the righteous men and of the prophets, and that by means of Himself there should be a requisition of their blood. Now this [blood] could not be required unless it also had the capability of being saved; nor would the Lord have summed up these things in Himself, unless He had Himself been made flesh and blood after the way of the original formation [of man], saving in his own person at the end that which had in the beginning perished in Adam. Irenaeus (A.D. 180) Ante-Nicene Fathers vol.1 pg. 541

But now, by means of communion with Himself, the Lord has reconciled man to God the Father, in reconciling us to Himself by the body of His own flesh, and redeeming us by His own blood, as the apostle says to the Ephesians, “In whom we have redemption through His blood, the remission of sins;” and again to the same he says, “You who formerly were far off have been brought near in the blood of Christ;” and again, “Abolishing in His flesh the enmities, [even] the law of commandments [contained] in ordinances.” And in every Epistle the apostle plainly testifies, that through the flesh of our Lord, and through His blood, we have been saved. Irenaeus (A.D. 180) Ante-Nicene Fathers vol.1 pg.542

Christ, who was called the Son of God before the ages, was manifested in the fullness of time, in order that He might cleanse us through His blood, who were under the power of sin, presenting us as pure sons to His Father, if we yield ourselves obediently to the chastisement of the Spirit. Irenaeus (A.D. 180) Ante-Nicene Fathers vol.1 pg.575

Ransom View of the Atonement according to the Church Fathers

But He was made manifest, in order that at the same time they might be perfected in their sins, and we might receive the covenant through Him who inherited it, even the Lord Jesus, who was prepared beforehand hereunto, that appearing in person He might redeem out of darkness our hearts which had already been paid over unto death and delivered up to the iniquity of error, and thus establish the covenant in us through the word. For it is written how the Father charges Him to deliver us from darkness, and to prepare a holy people for Himself. Barnabas (A.D. 70-130) ch.14

For to this end the Lord endured to deliver up His flesh to corruption, that we might be sanctified through the remission of sins, which is effected by His blood of sprinkling. For it is written concerning Him, partly with reference to Israel, and partly to us; and [the Scripture] said thus: “He was wounded for our transgressions, and braised for our iniquities: with His stripes we are healed. He was brought as a sheep to the slaughter, and as a lamb which is dumb before its shearer.” Barnabas (A.D. 70-130) ch.5

Understand how it was that He endured to suffer at the hand of men. The prophets, having obtained grace from Him, prophesied concerning Him. And He (since it behooved Him to appear in flesh), that He might abolish death, and reveal the resurrection from the dead, endured [what and as He did], in order that He might fulfill the promise made unto the fathers, and by preparing a new people for Himself, might show, while He dwelt on earth, that He, when He has raised mankind, will also judge them. Barnabas (A.D. 70-130) ch. 5

Let us look steadfastly to the blood of Christ, and see how precious that blood is to God, which, having been shed for our salvation, has set the grace of repentance before the whole world… Jonah proclaimed destruction to the Ninevites; but they, repenting of their sins, made atonement to God by prayer, and obtained salvation, although they were aliens [to the covenant] of God. Clement of Rome (A.D. 96) ch.7

And the Lord desires to cleanse Him from His stripes. If you offer for sin, your soul shall see a long-lived seed. And the Lord desires to take away from the toil of His soul… Isa. 53:10 (LXX) quoted by Clement of Rome (A.D. 96) ch. 16

And the Lord is pleased to cleanse Him from the stripe. If He be given for sin, your soul shall see His seed prolonged in days. And the Lord is pleased to deliver His soul from grief, to show Him light. Isa. 53:10 (LXX) quoted by Justin Martyr (A.D. 160) Ante-Nicene Fathers vol.1 pg.179

Corruption then becoming inherent in nature, it was necessary that He who wished to save should be one who destroyed the efficient cause of corruption. And this could not otherwise be done than by the life which is according to nature being united to that which had received the corruption, and so destroying the corruption, while preserving as immortal for the future that which had received it. It was therefore necessary that the Word should become possessed of a body, that He might deliver us from the death of natural corruption. For if, as you say, He had simply by a nod warded off death from us, death indeed would not have approached us on account of the expression of His will; but none the less would we again have become corruptible, inasmuch as we carried about in ourselves that natural corruption. Justin Martyr (A.D. 160) Ante-Nicene Fathers vol.1 pg.301

For the love which He had toward us, Jesus Christ our Lord has given His blood for us by the will of God, and His flesh for our flesh, and His life for our lives. Clement of Rome (A.D. 96) ch. 50

(God) Himself parted with His own Son as a ransom for us, the holy for the lawless, the guileless for the evil, the just for the unjust, the incorruptible for the corruptible, the immortal for the mortal. Letter to Diognetus (A.D. 125-200) ch.9

And then, speaking of John, he thus says: “For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God. And he shall go before Him in the spirit and power of Elias, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” For whom, then, did he prepare the people, and in the sight of what Lord was he made great? Truly of Him who said that John had something even “more than a prophet,” and that “among those born of women none is greater than John the Baptist;” who did also make the people ready for the Lord’s advent, warning his fellow-servants, and preaching to them repentance, that they might receive remission from the Lord when He should be present, having been convened to Him, from whom they had been alienated because of sins and transgressions. As also David says, “The alienated are sinners from the womb: they go astray as soon as they are born.” And it was on account of this that he, turning them to their Lord, prepared, in the spirit and power of Elias, a perfect people for the Lord. Irenaeus (A.D. 180) Ante-Nicene Fathers vol.1 pg. 421

For He fought and conquered; for He was man contending for the fathers, and through obedience doing away with disobedience completely: for He bound the strong man, and set free the weak, and endowed His own handiwork with salvation, by destroying sin. For He is a most holy and merciful Lord, and loves the human race. Irenaeus (A.D. 180) Ante-Nicene Fathers vol.1 pg.447-448

Death… “reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression.” But the law coming, which was given by Moses, and testifying of sin that it is a sinner… It laid, however, a weighty burden upon man, who had sin in himself, showing that he was liable to death. For as the law was spiritual, it merely made sin to stand out in relief, but did not destroy it. For sin had no dominion over the spirit, but over man. For it behooved Him who was to destroy sin, and redeem man under the power of death, that He should Himself be made that very same thing which he was, that is, man; who had been drawn by sin into bondage, but was held by death, so that sin should be destroyed by man, and man should go forth from death. For as by the disobedience of the one man who was originally molded from virgin soil, the many were made sinners, and forfeited life; so was it necessary that, by the obedience of one man, who was originally born from a virgin, many should be justified and receive salvation. Irenaeus (A.D. 180) Ante-Nicene Fathers vol.1 pg. 448

By means of the second man did He bind the strong man, and spoiled his goods, and abolished death, vivifying that man who had been in a state of death. For at the first Adam became a vessel in his (Satan’s) possession, whom he did also hold under his power, that is, by bringing sin on him iniquitously, and under color of immortality entailing death upon him. For, while promising that they should be as gods, which was in no way possible for him to be, he wrought death in them: wherefore he who had led man captive, was justly captured in his turn by God; but man, who had been led captive, was loosed from the bonds of condemnation. Irenaeus (A.D. 180) Ante-Nicene Fathers vol.1 pg. 456

If a hostile force had overcome certain [enemies], had bound them, and led them away captive, and held them for a long time in servitude, so that they begat children among them; and somebody, compassionating those who had been made slaves, should overcome this same hostile force; he certainly would not act equitably, were he to liberate the children of those who had been led captive, from the sway of those who had enslaved their fathers, but should leave these latter… For God is neither devoid of power nor of justice, who has afforded help to man, and restored him to His own liberty. Irenaeus (A.D. 180) Ante-Nicene Fathers vol.1 pg.456

For Abraham, according to his faith, followed the command of the Word of God, and with a ready mind delivered up, as a sacrifice to God, his only-begotten and beloved son, in order that God also might be pleased to offer up for all his seed His own beloved and only-begotten Son, as a sacrifice for our redemption. Irenaeus (A.D. 180) Ante-Nicene Fathers vol.1 pg. 467

His Son was His Word, by whom He founded all things; and that He, in the last times, was made a man among men; that He reformed the human race, but destroyed and conquered the enemy of man, and gave to His handiwork victory against the adversary. Irenaeus (A.D. 180) Ante-Nicene Fathers vol.1 pg.495

How, too, could He have subdued him who was stronger than men, who had not only overcome man, but also retained him under his power, and conquered him who had conquered, while he set free mankind who had been conquered, unless He had been greater than man who had thus been vanquished? Irenaeus (A.D. 180) Ante-Nicene Fathers vol.1 pg. 507

The Lord, indeed, sowed good seed in His own field; and He says, “The field is the world.” But while men slept, the enemy came, and “sowed tares in the midst of the wheat, and went his way.” Hence we learn that this was the apostate angel and the enemy, because he was envious of God’s workmanship, and took in hand to render this [workmanship] an enmity with God. For this cause also God has banished from His presence him who did of his own accord stealthily sow the tares, that is, him who brought about the transgression; but He took compassion upon man, who, through want of care no doubt, but still wickedly [on the part of another], became involved in disobedience; and He turned the enmity by which [the devil] had designed to make [man] the enemy of God, against the author of it, by removing His own anger from man, turning it in another direction, and sending it instead upon the serpent. As also the Scripture tells us that God said to the serpent, “And I will place enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed. He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.” And the Lord summed up in Himself this enmity, when He was made man from a woman, and trod upon his [the serpent’s] head, as I have pointed out in the preceding book. Irenaeus (A.D. 180) Ante-Nicene Fathers vol.1 pg.524

Redeeming us by His own blood in a manner consonant to reason, gave Himself as a redemption for those who had been led into captivity. And since the apostasy tyrannized over us unjustly, and, though we were by nature the property of the omnipotent God, alienated us contrary to nature, rendering us its own disciples, the Word of God, powerful in all things, and not defective with regard to His own justice, did righteously turn against that apostasy, and redeem from it His own property, not by violent means, as the [apostasy] had obtained dominion over us at the beginning, when it insatiably snatched away what was not its own, but by means of persuasion, as became a God of counsel, who does not use violent means to obtain what He desires; so that neither should justice be infringed upon, nor the ancient handiwork of God go to destruction. Irenaeus (A.D. 180) Ante-Nicene Fathers vol.1 pg. 527

But now, by means of communion with Himself, the Lord has reconciled man to God the Father, in reconciling us to Himself by the body of His own flesh, and redeeming us by His own blood, as the apostle says to the Ephesians, “In whom we have redemption through His blood, the remission of sins;” and again to the same he says, “You who formerly were far off have been brought near in the blood of Christ;” and again, “Abolishing in His flesh the enmities, [even] the law of commandments [contained] in ordinances.” And in every Epistle the apostle plainly testifies, that through the flesh of our Lord, and through His blood, we have been saved. Irenaeus (A.D. 180) Ante-Nicene Fathers vol.1 pg. 542

For doing away with [the effects of] that disobedience of man which had taken place at the beginning by the occasion of a tree, “He became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross;” rectifying that disobedience which had occurred by reason of a tree, through that obedience which was [wrought out] upon the tree [of the cross]… God Himself, whom indeed we had offended in the first Adam, when he did not perform His commandment. In the second Adam, however, we are reconciled, being made obedient even unto death. For we were debtors to none other but to Him whose commandment we had transgressed at the beginning. Irenaeus (A.D. 180) Ante-Nicene Fathers vol.1 pg.544

(Because we) transgressing whose commandment became His enemies… Therefore in the last times the Lord has restored us into friendship through His incarnation, having become “the Mediator between God and men;” propitiating indeed for us the Father against whom we had sinned, and cancelling (consolatus) our disobedience by His own obedience; conferring also upon us the gift of communion with, and subjection to, our Maker…He the God who is proclaimed in the Scriptures, to whom we were debtors, having transgressed His commandment? Now the commandment was given to man by the Word. For Adam, it is said, “heard the voice of the Lord God.” Rightly then does His Word say to man, “Your sins are forgiven you;” He, the same against whom we had sinned in the beginning, grants forgiveness of sins in the end. Irenaeus (A.D. 180) Ante-Nicene Fathers vol.1 pg. 544-545

…In His work of recapitulation, (Christ) summed up all things, both waging war against our enemy, and crushing him who had at the beginning led us away captives in Adam, and trampled upon his head. Irenaeus (A.D. 180) Ante-Nicene Fathers vol.1 pg.548

(Christ) spurned (Satan) from Him finally as being conquered out of the law; and there was done away with that infringement of God’s commandment which had occurred in Adam, by means of the precept of the law, which the Son of man observed, who did not transgress the commandment of God. Irenaeus (A.D. 180) Ante-Nicene Fathers vol.1 pg. 549

It was necessary that through man himself he should, when conquered, be bound with the same chains with which he had bound man, in order that man, being set free, might return to his Lord, leaving to him (Satan) those bonds by which he himself had been fettered, that is, sin. For when Satan is bound, man is set free; since “none can enter a strong man’s house and spoil his goods, unless he first bind the strong man himself.” Irenaeus (A.D. 180) Ante-Nicene Fathers vol.1 pg.550

And justly indeed (Satan) is led captive, who had led men unjustly into bondage; while man, who had been led captive in times past, was rescued from the grasp of his possessor, according to the tender mercy of God the Father, who had compassion on His own handiwork, and gave to it salvation. Irenaeus (A.D. 180) Ante-Nicene Fathers vol.1 pg.550

For even then, as ransomed by Christ, you were under no bondage to man; and now, though man has given you liberty, you are the servant of Christ. Tertullian (A.D. 198) Ante-Nicene Fathers vol.3 pg.101

But that I may lose no opportunity of supporting my argument from the name of Adam, why is Christ called Adam by the apostle, unless it be that, as man, He was of that earthly origin? And even reason here maintains the same conclusion, because it was by just the contrary operation that God recovered His own image and likeness, of which He had been robbed by the devil. Tertullian (A.D. 198) Ante-Nicene Fathers vol.3 pg. 536

For it is probable that there is in the nature of things, for certain mysterious reasons which are difficult to be understood by the multitude, such a virtue that one just man, dying a voluntary death for the common good, might be the means of removing wicked spirits, which are the cause of plagues, or barrenness, or tempests, or similar calamities. Let those, therefore, who would disbelieve the statement that Jesus died on the cross on behalf of men, say whether they also refuse to accept the many accounts current both among Greeks and Barbarians, of persons who have laid down their lives for the public advantage, in order to remove those evils which had fallen upon cities and countries. Origen (A.D. 248) Ante-Nicene Fathers vol.4 pg. 409

“You hypocrites, does not each one of you loose his ox or his ass from the stall, and lead him away to watering? and ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has bound these eighteen years, be loosed on the Sabbath-day?” Whomsoever, therefore, Satan bound in chains, these did the Lord on His coming loose from the bonds of death, having bound our strong adversary and delivered humanity. Hippolytus (A.D. 225) Ante-Nicene Fathers vol.5 pg.181

“You are not your own, for you are bought with a great price; glorify and bear God in your body.” Let us glorify and bear God in a pure and chaste body, and with a more complete obedience; and since we have been redeemed by the blood of Christ, let us obey and give furtherance to the empire of our Redeemer by all the obedience of service, that nothing impure or profane may be brought into the temple of God, lest He should be offended, and forsake the temple which He inhabits. Cyprian (A.D. 250) Ante-Nicene Fathers vol.5 pg. 430

The Father sent the Son to preserve us and give us life, in order that He might restore us; and that the Son was willing to be sent and to become the Son of man, that He might make us sons of God; humbled Himself, that He might raise up the people who before were prostrate; was wounded that He might heal our wounds; served, that He might draw out to liberty those who were in bondage; underwent death, that He might set forth immortality to mortals. For when the Lord at His advent had cured those wounds which Adam had born, and had healed the old poisons of the serpent, He gave a law to the sound man and bade him sin no more, lest a worse thing should befall the sinner. Cyprian (A.D. 250) Ante-Nicene Fathers vol.5 pg. 476

For with this purpose the Word assumed the nature of man, that, having overcome the serpent, He might by Himself destroy the condemnation which had come into being along with man’s ruin. For it was fitting that the Evil One should be overcome by no other, but by him whom he had deceived, and whom he was boasting that he held in subjection, because no otherwise was it possible that sin and condemnation should be destroyed, unless that same man on whose account it had been said, “Dust you are, and unto dust you shall return,” should be created anew, and undo the sentence which for his sake had gone forth on all, that “as in Adam” at first “all die, even so” again “in Christ,” who assumed the nature and position of Adam, should “all be made alive.” Methodius (A.D. 311) Ante-Nicene Fathers vol.6 pg.318-319

For “behold I set before you life and death;” meaning that death would result from disobedience of the spiritual law, that is of the commandment; and from obedience to the carnal law, that is the counsel of the serpent; for by such a choice “I am sold” to the devil, fallen under sin. Hence evil, as though besieging me, cleaves to me and dwells in me, justice giving me up to be sold to the Evil One, in consequence of having violated the law. Therefore also the expressions: “That which I do, I allow not,” and “what I hate, that do I,” are not to be understood of doing evil, but of only thinking it. For it is not in our power to think or not to think of improper things, but to act or not to act upon our thoughts. For we cannot hinder thoughts from coming into our minds, since we receive them when they are inspired into us from without; but we are able to abstain from obeying them and acting upon them. Methodius (A.D. 311) Ante-Nicene Fathers vol.6 pg. 371

For this cause, therefore, a mediator came – that is, God in the flesh – that the flesh might be able to follow Him, and that He might rescue man from death, which has dominion over the flesh. Therefore He clothed Himself with flesh, that the desires of the flesh being subdued, He might teach that to sin was not the result of necessity, but of man’s purpose and will. Lactantius (A.D. 304-313) Ante-Nicene Fathers vol.7 pg. 127

This slain lamb has been made, according to certain hidden reasons, a purification of the whole world, for which, according to the Father’s love to man, He submitted to death, purchasing us back by His own blood from him who had got us into his power, sold under sin. And He who led this lamb to the slaughter was God in man, the great High-Priest, as he shows by the words: “No one takes My life away from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again.” Origen (248) Ante-Nicene Fathers vol.9 pg. 377

But to whom did He give His soul as a ransom for many? Surely not to God. Could it, then, be to the Evil One? For he had us in his power, until the ransom for us should be given to him, even the life (or soul) of Jesus, since he (the Evil One) had been deceived, and led to suppose that he was capable of mastering that soul, and he did not see that to hold Him involved a trial of strength (thasanon) greater than he was equal to. Therefore also death, though he thought he had prevailed against Him, no longer lords over Him, He (Christ) having become free among the dead and stronger than the power of death, and so much stronger than death that all who will amongst those who are mastered by death may also follow Him (i.e. out of Hades, out of death’s domain), death no longer prevailing against them. For every one who is with Jesus is unassailable by death. Origen (248) Ante-Nicene Fathers vol.10 pg. Commentary on Matthew XVI, 8

Recapitulation View of the Atonement According to the Church Fathers

For He came to save all through means of Himself – all, I say, who through Him are born again to God – infants, and children, and boys, and youths, and old men. He therefore passed through every age, becoming an infant for infants, thus sanctifying infants; a child for children, thus sanctifying those who are of this age, being at the same time made to them an example of piety, righteousness, and submission; a youth for youths, becoming an example to youths, and thus sanctifying them for the Lord. So likewise He was an old man for old men, that He might be a perfect Master for all, not merely as respects the setting forth of the truth, but also as regards age, sanctifying at the same time the aged also, and becoming an example to them likewise. Then, at last, He came on to death itself, that He might be “the first-born from the dead, that in all things He might have the pre-eminence,” the Prince of life, existing before all, and going before all. Irenaeus (A.D. 180) Ante-Nicene Fathers vol.1 pg.391

Therefore, as I have already said, He caused man (human nature) to cleave to and to become, one with God. For unless man had overcome the enemy of man, the enemy would not have been legitimately vanquished. And again: unless it had been God who had freely given salvation, we could never have possessed it securely. And unless man had been joined to God, he could never have become a partaker of incorruptibility. For it was incumbent upon the Mediator between God and men, by His relationship to both, to bring both to friendship and concord, and present man to God, while He revealed God to man. Irenaeus (A.D. 180) Ante-Nicene Fathers vol.1 pg. 448

He who is the Word, recapitulating Adam in Himself, rightly received a birth, enabling Him to gather up Adam [into Himself], from Mary, who was as yet a virgin. If, then, the first Adam had a man for his father, and was born of human seed, it were reasonable to say that the second Adam was begotten of Joseph. But if the former was taken from the dust, and God was his Maker, it was incumbent that the latter also, making a recapitulation in Himself, should be formed as man by God, to have an analogy with the former as respects His origin. Irenaeus (A.D. 180) Ante-Nicene Fathers vol.1 pg.454

And thus also it was that the knot of Eve’s disobedience was loosed by the obedience of Mary. For what the virgin Eve had bound fast through unbelief, this did the virgin Mary set free through faith. Irenaeus (A.D. 180) Ante-Nicene Fathers vol.1 pg.455

God had power at the beginning to grant perfection to man; but as the latter was only recently created, he could not possibly have received it, or even if he had received it, could he have contained it, or containing it, could he have retained it. It was for this reason that the Son of God, although He was perfect, passed through the state of infancy in common with the rest of mankind, partaking of it thus not for His own benefit, but for that of the infantile stage of man’s existence, in order that man might be able to receive Him. Irenaeus (A.D. 180) Ante-Nicene Fathers vol.1 pg.521

He turned the enmity by which [the devil] had designed to make [man] the enemy of God, against the author of it, by removing His own anger from man, turning it in another direction, and sending it instead upon the serpent. As also the Scripture tells us that God said to the serpent, “And I will place enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed. He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.” And the Lord summed up in Himself this enmity, when He was made man from a woman, and trod upon his [the serpent’s] head, as I have pointed out in the preceding book. Irenaeus (A.D. 180) Ante-Nicene Fathers vol.1 pg.524

For He would not have been one truly possessing flesh and blood, by which He redeemed us, unless He had summed up in Himself the ancient formation of Adam. Irenaeus (A.D. 180) Ante-Nicene Fathers vol.1 pg. 527

In like manner, too, did the Lord say to those who should afterwards shed His blood, “All righteous blood shall be required which is shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zacharias the son of Barachias, whom you slew between the temple and the altar. Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation.” He thus points out the recapitulation that should take place in his own person of the effusion of blood from the beginning, of all the righteous men and of the prophets, and that by means of Himself there should be a requisition of their blood. Now this [blood] could not be required unless it also had the capability of being saved; nor would the Lord have summed up these things in Himself, unless He had Himself been made flesh and blood after the way of the original formation [of man], saving in his own person at the end that which had in the beginning perished in Adam. Irenaeus (A.D. 180) Ante-Nicene Fathers vol.1 pg.541

He had Himself, therefore, flesh and blood, recapitulating in Himself not a certain other, but that original handiwork of the Father, seeking out that thing which had perished. And for this cause the apostle, in the Epistle to the Colossians, says, “And though you were formerly alienated, and enemies to His knowledge by evil works, yet now you have been reconciled in the body of His flesh, through His death, to present yourselves holy and chaste, and without fault in His sight.” He says, “You have been reconciled in the body of His flesh,” because the righteous flesh has reconciled that flesh which was being kept under bondage in sin, and brought it into friendship with God. Irenaeus (A.D. 180) Ante-Nicene Fathers vol.1 pg.541

So that as by means of a tree we were made debtors to God, [so also] by means of a tree we may obtain the remission of our debt. Irenaeus (A.D. 180) Ante-Nicene Fathers vol.1 pg. 545

That the Lord then was manifestly coming to His own things, and was sustaining them by means of that creation which is supported by Himself, and was making a recapitulation of that disobedience which had occurred in connection with a tree, through the obedience which was [exhibited by Himself when He hung] upon a tree, [the effects] also of that deception being done away with, by which that virgin Eve, who was already espoused to a man, was unhappily misled, was happily announced, through means of the truth [spoken] by the angel to the virgin Mary, who was [also espoused] to a man. Irenaeus (A.D. 180) Ante-Nicene Fathers vol.1 pg. 547

And if the former did disobey God, yet the latter was persuaded to be obedient to God, in order that the virgin Mary might become the patroness (advocata) of the virgin Eve. And thus, as the human race fell into bondage to death by means of a virgin, so is it rescued by a virgin; virginal disobedience having been balanced in the opposite scale by virginal obedience. For in the same way the sin of the first created man (protoplasti) receives amendment by the correction of the First-begotten, and the coming of the serpent is conquered by the harmlessness of the dove. Irenaeus (A.D. 180) Ante-Nicene Fathers vol.1 pg.547

Into this paradise the Lord has introduced those who obey His call, “summing up in Himself all things which are in heaven, and which are on earth;” but the things in heaven are spiritual, while those on earth… These things, therefore, He recapitulated in Himself: by uniting man to the Spirit, and causing the Spirit to dwell in man, He is Himself made the head of the Spirit, and gives the Spirit to be the head of man: for through Him (the Spirit) we see, and hear, and speak….in His work of recapitulation, summed up all things, both waging war against our enemy, and crushing him who had at the beginning led us away captives in Adam, and trampled upon his head. Irenaeus (A.D. 180) Ante-Nicene Fathers vol.1 pg. 548

“But when the fullness of time was come, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman.” For indeed the enemy would not have been fairly vanquished, unless it had been a man [born] of a woman who conquered him. For it was by means of a woman that he got the advantage over man at first, setting himself up as man’s opponent. Irenaeus (A.D. 180) Ante-Nicene Fathers vol.1 pg.548-549

For as at the beginning it was by means of food that [the enemy] persuaded man, although not suffering hunger, to transgress God’s commandments, so in the end he did not succeed in persuading Him that was an hungered to take that food which proceeded from God. Irenaeus (A.D. 180) Ante-Nicene Fathers vol.1 pg.549

And we believe the Logos to have passed through every period in this life, in order that He Himself might serve as a law for every age, and that, by being present (amongst) us, He might exhibit His own manhood as an aim for all men. And that by Himself in Person He might prove that God made nothing evil, and that man possesses the capacity of self-determination, inasmuch as he is able to will and not to will, and is endued with power to do both. Hippolytus (A.D. 225) Ante-Nicene Fathers vol.5 pg. 152

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