Tertullian

It is certainly no part of religion to compel religion.

Quintus Septimius Florens Tertullianus (born ca. 150-160, died ca. 220-240) was a major theologian in the early Christian church, known for his powerful denunciations of many influences he considered heretical, including the widespread admiration of pagan philosophers and many Gnostic ideas, yet in later life a Montanist, and thus he himself an embracer of beliefs that came to be declared heretical.

QuotesEdit

Truth persuades by teaching, but does not teach by persuading.
When God's Spirit descends, then Patience accompanies Him indivisibly.
We worship unity in trinity, and trinity in unity; neither confounding the person nor dividing the substance.
  • fiunt non nascuntur Christiani
    • Christians are made, not born.
      • Apologeticus, xviii.
    • Many variants on this exist, notably “Great lovers are made, not born.” and “(Great) leaders are made, not born.”
    • A variant on “One is not born wise, but becomes wise” from Seneca On Anger 2.10.6; see: Christian and Pagan in the Roman Empire: the witness of Tertullian, by Tertullian, Robert Dick Sider, p. 38, footnote 79.
  • Vide, inquiunt, ut invicem se diligant; ipsi enim invicem oderunt: et ut pro alterutro mori sint parati; ipsi enim ad occidendum alterutrum paratiores erunt.
    • See, they say, how they love one another, for themselves are animated by mutual hatred; how they are ready even to die for one another, for they themselves will sooner put to death.
      • Apologeticus, 39, describing how Christianity is mocked by its enemies.
  • Plures efficimur, quoties metumur a vobis; semen est sanguis christianorum.
    • We multiply whenever we are mown down by you; the blood of Christians is seed.
      • Apologeticus, 50, s. 13.
    • Often quoted as ‘The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church.’
    • Variant translation: As often as we are mown down by you, the more we grow in numbers; the blood of the Christians is the seed.
  • Omnium gentium unus homo, uarium nomen est, una anima, uaria uox, unus spiritus, uarius sonus, propria cuique genti loquella, sed loquellae materia communis.
    • Man is one name belonging to every nation upon earth. In them all is one soul though many tongues. Every country has its own language, yet the subjects of which the untutored soul speaks are the same everywhere.
      • De Testimonio Animae (The Testimony of the Soul), 6.3
  • Veritas autem docendo persuadet non suadendo docet.
    • Truth persuades by teaching, but does not teach by persuading.
    • Adversus Valentinianos (Against the Valentinians), 1.4
  • Nihil veritas erubescit
    • Truth does not blush.
      • Adversus Valentinianos, 3.2
  • Prorsus credibile est, quia ineptum est.
    • It is certain because it is impossible.
      • De Carne Christi (5.4)
    • Often misquoted as "Credo quia absurdum."
    • Often quoted as "It is so extraordinary that it must be true."
    • Two lines from De Carne Christi have often become conflated into the statement: "Credo quia impossibile" (I believe it because it is impossible), which can be perceived as a distortion of the actual arguments that Tertullian was making.
  • De calcaria in carbonarium.
    • Out of the frying pan into the fire.
      • De Carne Christi, 6; "The Roman version of the proverb is more literally translated "Out of the lime-kiln into the coal-furnace."
  • Omnia periclitabuntur aliter accipi quam sunt, et amittere quod sunt dum aliter accipiuntur, si aliter quam sunt cognominantur. Fides nominum salus est proprietatum.
    • All things will be in danger of being taken in a sense different from their own proper sense, and, whilst taken in that different sense, of losing their proper one, if they are called by a name which differs from their natural designation. Fidelity in names secures the safe appreciation of properties.
      • De Carne Christi, 13.2
  • Qui fugiebat, rursus sibi proeliabitur.
    • He who flees will fight again.
      • De Fuga in Persecutione, 10
  • Nec alii obest aut prodest alterius religio.
    • One man's religion neither harms nor helps another man.
      • Ad Scapulam, 2.2
  • Nec religionis est cogere religionem
    • It is certainly no part of religion to compel religion.
    • Ad Scapulam, 2.2
  • Infirma commendatio est quae de alterius destructione fulcitur.
    • Of little worth is the recommendation which has for its prop the defamation of another.
      • Adversus Marcionem, IV.15.5
  • Itaque et ego vanitatem vanitate depellam.
    • I shall dispel one empty story by another.
    • Variant translation: I must dispel vanity with vanity.
      • Adversus Marcionem, IV.30.3
  • Cum ergo spiritus Dei descendit, indiuidua patientia comitatur eum.
    • When God's Spirit descends, then Patience accompanies Him indivisibly.
      • De Patientia, 15:7
  • Quippe res dei ratio quia deus omnium conditor nihil non ratione providit disposuit ordinavit, nihil [enim] non ratione tractari intellegique voluit. [3] Igitur ignorantes quique deum rem quoque eius ignorent necesse est quia nullius omnino thesaurus extraneis patet. Itaque universam vitae conversationem sine gubernaculo rationis transfretantes inminentem saeculo procellam evitare non norunt.
    • Reason, in fact, is a thing of God, inasmuch as there is nothing which God the Maker of all has not provided, disposed, ordained by reason — nothing which He has not willed should be handled and understood by reason. All, therefore, who are ignorant of God, must necessarily be ignorant also of a thing which is His, because no treasure-house at all is accessible to strangers. And thus, voyaging all the universal course of life without the rudder of reason, they know not how to shun the hurricane which is impending over the world.
      • De Paenitentia (On Repentance), 1.2-3
  • esterni sumus, & vestra omnia implevimus, Vrbes, Insulas, Castella, Municipia, Conciliabula, Castra ipsa, Tribus, Decurias, palatium, Senatum, Forum, sola vobis relinquimus Templa.
    • We are but of yesterday, and yet we have filled all the places that belong to you — cities, islands, forts, towns, exchanges; the military camps themselves, tribes, town councils, the palace, the senate, the market-place; we have left you nothing but your temples.
      • Tertullian's Plea For Allegiance, A.2
  • We worship unity in trinity, and trinity in unity; neither confounding the person nor dividing the substance. There is one person of the Father, another of the Son, and another of the Holy Ghost; but the Godhead of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, is all one; the glory equal, the majesty co-eternal.
    • Reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895), p. 285.

Quotes about TertullianEdit

  • This is said with more spirit than truth.
  • Every word almost was a sentence; every sentence a victory.

External linksEdit

Wikipedia
Wikipedia has an article about:
Wikisource has original works written by or about:
Last modified on 15 April 2014, at 16:26