Epiphanius Of Salamis (c. 315–403): It Was Gnostics Not Christians Who Made Images Of Christ

They [the Gnostics] possess paintings—some, moreover, have images made of gold, silver and other materials—and say that such things are portraits in relief of Jesus, and made by Pontius Pilate! That is, the reliefs are portraits of the actual Jesus during his sojourn among men! (10) They possess images like these in secret, and of certain philosophers besides–Pythagoras, Plato, Aristotle, and the rest—and also place other reliefs of Jesus with these philosophers. And having erected them, they worship them and celebrate heathen mysteries. For once they have set these images up, they then follow the customs of heathen–yet what are customs of the heathen but sacrifices and the rest? (11) they say that salvation is of the soul only, and not of bodies.

Epiphanius of Salamis, The Panarion of Epiphanius of Salamis, 2 vols. Nag Hammadi Studies vols 35–36. trans. Frank Williams (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1987), 27, 6, 9–10 (1.105).

    Post authored by:

  • R. Scott Clark
    Author Image

    R.Scott Clark is the President of the Heidelberg Reformation Association, the author and editor of, and contributor to several books and the author of many articles. He has taught church history and historical theology since 1997 at Westminster Seminary California. He has also taught at Wheaton College, Reformed Theological Seminary, and Concordia University. He has hosted the Heidelblog since 2007.

    More by R. Scott Clark ›

Subscribe to the Heidelblog today!