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Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature


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(sack-carriers), a name of a small party of professing penitents in the 4th century, who went about always dressed in the coarse apparel which their name implies. They appear to have been a subdivision of the Encratites- those, namely, who thought fit to make an outward profession of their rule. St. Basil puts together the Encratites, Saccophori, and Apotactics as an offshoot of the Marcionites (Basil, Can. Epist. 2, can. 47). Theodosius made a decree, which was renewed by Honorius, that some of the Manichueans, who went by the name of Encratites, Saccophori, or Hydroparastatse, should be punished with death (Cod. Theod. lib. 16, tit. 5, "De Haeret." leg. 9).

Both the Marcionites and the Manichaeans held the doctrine of Two Principles; and it is no wonder that the Encratites are referred now to one, now to the other of these sects. But their true origin appears to be from the former. St. Basil's Canon is one relating to the baptism of these sects. (See ENCRATITES).

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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Saccophori'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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