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Posts Tagged ‘“One Person in Two Natures”’

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Tertullian is thought to have been born 4/27/c.155 (160?) AD at Carthage (now in Tunisia) to pagan parents; his father a Roman centurion, perhaps part of an African-based legion assigned to the provincial governor.  His works indicate he received a good Carthaginian education including (but not necessarily limited to) grammar, rhetoric, literature, philosophy. He later traveled to Rome possibly to further his training (although Carthage was second only to Rome in culture & education) & may have studied law while there.   

One thing he did “learn” in Rome was the way Christians were being executed. He saw the courage which sustained them as they faced hideous deaths.  This startled him into investigating their Belief & eventually led to his conversion to Jesus Christ 197-198(?).  He was definitely married (addressed two books to his wife) but her name is lost in the dusty past. Tertullian was the first Christian penman to use Latin as a writing language but of his 31 extant works at least 3 were written in Greek.

Tertullian definitely did NOT (nor the Roman Catholics) create the concept of a Trinity. At least 13 verses list All Three of the God-Head in one verse but he appears to first to pen “trinity” described as “One God in Three Persons” (classic trinitarian formula). He was unhappy with compromise he witnessed coming into the church & wrote against encroachments rather than producing a systematic theology. His honesty did not win him friends among the “Churchmen” & one source said he died (c. 225-240) “separated from full communion with the bishops of the Catholic Church” a positive (rather than a negative) assessment.

Tertullian Quotes:

“One Person in Two Natures” – describing Christ

“The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church” – another of his famous phrases 

“What has Athens to do with Jerusalem?” – as pagan philosophies came – a question we still need to hear!

 

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