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Tertullian’s Use of the Pastoral Epistles, Hebrews, James, 1 and 2 Peter, and Jude


Mark A. Frisius

In Tertullian’s Use of the Pastoral Epistles, Hebrews, James, 1 and 2 Peter, and Jude, Mark A. Frisius establishes that Tertullian (a third-century theologian) only used the Pastoral Epistles, Hebrews, and 1 Peter, although he at least knew of Jude. It is further demonstrated that he had no knowledge of James or 2 Peter, which has a distinct bearing on the emergence of the New Testament canon. Tertullian interprets these five texts in various ways, but always with an eye toward confrontational discourse. The author assesses Tertullian’s varying interpretive principles and also considers the effects of Montanism on his interpretive procedures. In conclusion, Frisius demonstrates that the Pastoral Epistles, Hebrews, and 1 Peter provided Tertullian with significant material for his theological controversies. This book, in addition to being a resource for scholars, is also useful in senior level and graduate courses on ancient biblical interpretation.


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Notes 167


NOTES Introduction 1 The early church would have difficulty knowing what to do with Tertullian. Most argued that he was a leading Latin thinker, but that his Montanism made him difficult to accept. Cyprian, although devoted to Tertullian‘s teachings, never mentioned him by name (Jerome, Vir. ill. 53). Other Latin writers would speak favorably of Tertullian, but found that his Montanism was a stain on his record (Hilary of Poitiers, Comm. Matt. 5.11; Vincent of Lérins, Comm. 18.24). 2 In my opinion, the recent, renewed interest in Tertullian can be traced to Timothy Barnes‘ revolutionary book (Timothy D. Barnes, Tertullian: A Historical and Literary Study [Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1971; rpr. 1985]). Within this work, Barnes broke down a number of long- standing assumptions concerning Tertullian and provided an historical manner by which Tertullian might be understood. This work has then been built upon and expanded by a number of important books (Gösta Hallonsten, Satisfactio bei Tertullian: Überprüfung einer For- schungstradition, Studia Theologica Lundensig 39 [Malmö: CWK Gleerup, 1984]; David Ran- kin, Tertullian and the Church [Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995]; Christine Trevett, Montanism: Gender, Authority and the New Prophecy [Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996]; Geoffrey D. Dunn, Tertullian, The Early Church Fathers [New York: Routledge, 2004]; Eric Osborn, Tertullian: First Theologian of the West [Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001]; William Tabbernee, Fake Prophecy and Polluted Sacraments: Ecclesiastical and Imperial Reactions to Montanism [Leiden: Brill, 2007]). 3 On Tertullian‘s lack of knowledge concerning 2 and 3...

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