Matthew 23:15

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you travel on sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, you make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.
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Augustine of Hippo

AD 430
Cont. Faust., xvi, 29 (et cf cont. Adimant. 16): This He said not because proselytes were circumcised, but because they imitated the lives of those from following whom He bad prohibited His disciples, saying, “Do ye not after their works.” Two things are observable in this command; first, the honour shown to Moses’ teaching, that even wicked men when sitting in his seat are compelled to teach good things; and that the proselyte is madea child of hell, not by bearing the words of the Law, but by following their doings. And twofold more than they for this reason, that he neglects to fulfil what he had undertaken of his own choice, having been not born a Jew, but offree will become a Jew.

George Leo Haydock

AD 1849
Because whilst a Gentile he sinned without a perfect knowledge of the evil, and was not then a two-fold child of hell; but after his conversion, seeing the vices of his masters, and perceiving that they acted in direct opposition to the doctrines they taught, he returns to the vomit, and renders himself a prevaricator, by adoring the idols he formerly left, and sells his soul doubly to the devil. (St. Chrysostom) They that teach that it is sufficient to have faith only, do make such Christians as blindly follow them, as these Jews did their proselytes, children of hell far more than before. (St. Augustine, lib. de fide et oper. chap. xxvi.)

Gregory The Dialogist

AD 604
Mor. xxxi, 9: But forasmuch as hypocrites though they do ever crooked things, yet cease not to speak light things, and thus by their good instructions beget sons, but are not able to bring them up by good life, but the more they give themselves up to worldly works, the more willingly do they suffer those whom they have begotten to work the same. And because their hearts are hardened, these very sons whom they have begotten they do not own by any sign of the affection due. Wherefore it is here said of the hypocrites, “And when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.”

Hilary of Poitiers

AD 368
That they compass sea and land signifies that throughout the whole world they shall be enemies of Christ’s Gospel, and shall bring men under the yoke of the Law against the justification of faith. There were proselytes made into the Synagogue from among the Gentiles, the small number of whom is here denoted by what is said “one proselyte.” For after the preaching of Christ there was nofaith left in their doctrine, but whoever was gained to the faith of the Jews became a child of hell. And be becomes the child of a twofold punishment, because he has not obtained remission of his Gentile sins, and because he has joined the society of those who persecuted Christ.


AD 420
The scribes and the Pharisees were reviewing the whole world on account of the business and diverse profits taken by their disciples. These profits were taken under the pretense of sanctity. .
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AD 420
Or otherwise; The Scribes and Pharisees compassed the whole world to make proselytes of the Gentiles, that is, to mix the uncircumcised stranger with the people of God. Or, because before while he was a Gentile he erred in ignorance, and was only achild of hell; but seeing the vices of his masters, and understanding that they destroyed in their actions what they taught in words, he returns to his vomit, and becoming a Gentile, he is worthy of greater punishment as one that has deserted his cause. He is called a child of hell in the same way as one is said to be a child of perdition, and a child of this world; every man is called the son of him whose works he does.

John Chrysostom

AD 407
The scribes and Pharisees have laid endless toil upon others. This should draw them toward being more empathic with others’ burdens. But the things that we acquire easily we care less about. So even their unfair advantages do not render them more gentle. Here he lays to the charge of the priests two things. First, that they have been unprofitable for the salvation of many. They have forgotten that they need much toil in order to win over even one. And second, that they were remiss in the preservation of those whom they had won. Not only were they careless but traitors. We see this from the wickedness of their lives, corruption and making others worse. When a disciple sees his teacher to be corrupt, he becomes even more so. He does not stop at his teacher’s corruption. The Gospel of Matthew, Homily

John Chrysostom

AD 407
that is, not even the fact that hardly you have taken him, and with endless toils, induces you to be sparing towards him, although of the things we have hardly acquired, we are more sparing, but you not even this renders more gentle. Here He lays to their charge two things; one, that they are unprofitable for the salvation of the many, and need much toil in order to win over even one; another, that they were remiss in the preservation of him whom they had gained, or rather that they were not only careless, but even traitors, by their wickedness in their life corrupting him, and making him worse. For when the disciple sees his teachers to be such as these, he becomes worse than they. For he stops not at his teacher's wickedness; but as when his teacher is virtuous, he imitates him, so when he is bad, he even goes beyond him, by reason of our proneness to what is evil. And He calls him a child of hell, that is, a very hell. And He said twofold more than you, that He might both alar...

John Chrysostom

AD 407
This the next charge against them is, that they are unequal to the salvation of many, seeing they need so much labour to bring one to salvation; and not only are they slack in conversion, but destroy even those whom they do convert, by corrupting them by example of evil life. Or, because while he was a worshipper of idols, he observed righteousness even because of men; but when he became a Jew, prompted by the example of evil teachers, he became worse than his teachers. For a disciple imitates a virtuous master, but goes beyond a vicious one.
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Theophylact of Ochrid

AD 1107
. Not only, He says, do you corrupt the Jews, but also those who come to the Jewish religion from idolatry. These were called "proselytes." You are eager to convert someone to the Jewish way of life and to circumcision; but when they Judaize, they perish, corrupted by your wickedness. A "son of gehenna" means he who deserves gehenna and stands so close to it by disposition that he is kindled by its flames.
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Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation - 2 Peter 1:20

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