Get the CD Now!

Julius Cassianus

Julius Cassianus

This passage from Clement of Alexandria Stromata 3.13-14 refers to Julius Cassianus. This is the translation in J.E.L. Oulton's Alexandrian Christianity as scanned by Jay Raskin.


91. Such are the arguments of Julius Casinos, the originator of deceits. At any rate in his book Concerning Continence and Celibacy he says these words: "And let no one say that because we have these parts, that the female body is shaped this way and the male that way, the one to receive, the other to give seed, sexual intercourse is allowed by God. For if this arrangement had been made by God, to whom we seek to attain, he would not have pronounced eunuchs blessed; nor would the prophet have said that they are 'not an unfruitful tree,' using the tree as an illustration of the man who chooses to emasculate himself of any such notion."

92. And striving still further to support his godless opinion he adds: "Could not one rightly find fault with the Saviour if he was responsible for our formation and then delivered us from error and from this use of the generative organs?" In this respect his teaching is the same as Titian´s. But he departed from the school of Valentine. On this account he says: "When Salome ' asked when she would know the answer to her questions, the Lord said, When you trample on the robe of shame, and when the two shall be one, and the male with the female, and there is neither male nor female."
93. In the first place we have not got the saying in the four Gospels that have been handed down to us, but in the Gospel according to the Egyptians. Secondly Cassia seems to me not to know that it refers to wrath in speaking of and to desire in speaking of the female. When these operate, there follow repentance and shame. But when a man gives in neither to wrath nor to desire, both of which increase in consequence of evil habit and upbringing so as to cloud and obscure rational thought, but puts off from him the darkness they cause with penitence and shame, uniting spirit and soul in obedience to the Word, then, as Paul also says, "there is among you neither male nor female." For the soul leaves this physical form in which male and female are distinguished, and being neither the one nor the other changes to unity. But this worthy fellow thinks in Platonic fashion that the soul is of divine origin and, having become female by desire, has come down here from above to birth and corruption.


94. He then does violence to Paul, making him hold that birth originated from deceit because he says: "I am afraid lest, as the serpent deceived Eve, your thoughts should be corrupted from the simplicity which is towards Christ." But the Lord, as all agree, came to that which was astray, but it had not strayed from above into earthly birth (for birth is created and the creation of the Almighty who would never bring the soul down from what is good to what is bad). The Saviour came to men who were astray in their thoughts, to us whose minds were corrupted as a result of our disobeying the commandments because we were lovers of pleasure, and perhaps also because the first man of our race did not bide his time, desired the favor of marriage before the proper hour, and fell into sin by not waiting for the time of God's will; "for everyone who looks upon a woman to lust after her has already committed adultery with her."

95. It was the same Lord who at that time also condemned the desire which preceded marriage. When, therefore, the apostle says, "Put on the new man which is created after God," he speaks to us who were formed as we are by the will of the Almighty. In speaking of the old man and the new he is not referring to birth and rebirth respectively, but to manner of life, the one being disobedient, the other obedient. The "coats of skins” in Cassia´s view are bodies. That both he and those who teach the same as he does are wrong here we will show :r when we undertake an explanation of the birth of man :r the necessary preliminary discussion. He further says: The subjects of earthly kings both beget and are born, 'but our citizenship is in heaven, from whence also we look for the Savior. That this remark also is right we recognize, since ought to behave as strangers and pilgrims, if married as though we were not married, if possessing wealth as though we not possess it, if procreating children as giving birth to mortals , as those who are ready to abandon their property, as men ) would even live without a wife if need be, as people who not passionately attached to the created world, but use it with all gratitude and with a sense of exaltation beyond it.

Go to the Chronological List of all Early Christian Writings

Please buy the CD to support the site, view it without ads, and get bonus stuff!

Early Christian Writings is copyright © Peter Kirby <E-Mail>.

Get the CD Now!

Kirby, Peter. "Historical Jesus Theories." Early Christian Writings. <>.