An Answer to the Jews background information.


Early Christian Writings

Title: Adversus Judaeos (Against the Jews) 

Subheading:  

From: (tertullian.org)

Ante-Nicene Fathers

Τὰ ἀρχαῖα ἔθη κρατείτω. The Nicene Council

Related Link:   

By: Roger Pearse  

Our Ref:
ECST: 167.08.1.T77

FAIR USE NOTICE:
This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of religious, environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material; the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. For purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

IN BRIEF

Why the church is now the heir to the promises of the Old Testament.

SUMMARY

Called forth by an argument between a convert to Judaism and a Christian, to show that the Jews rejected God’s grace voluntarily and so it has been offered to the Gentiles. In place of the ancient law of retribution is the law of love. In Jesus of Nazareth the prophecies of the Old Testament are fulfilled.

The book may have been left unfinished, with only notes at the end. Perhaps Tertullian felt it was too academic and didn’t deal with the very real threat to Christians in Carthage – pagan persecution.1)see details Barnes, Timothy D. Tertullian: A Historical and Literary Study. Rev. ed. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1985 (1971 1st edn). 320 pages, 2 page ancient author index, 10 page subject/name index, 22 page bibliography and 1 page chronological table.  The last chapters, 9-14, which deal with Jesus as Messiah, appear to be a clumsy excerpt from Adversus Marcionem III, although some phrases are new, yet characteristic2)see details Quasten, J. Patrology, Vol II, Christian Classics library.. This suggests a later hand added them. It has been suggested3)1. G.Quispel, De bronnen van Tertullianus’ Aduersus Marcionem, 1943, p.61-79, from CCL II p 1338. that the material is taken from the stolen second edition of Adversus Marcionem, perhaps by the thief.

Chapters 1-8 are quoted by Jerome in his Commentary on Daniel, ch 9, 24ff.4)see details and Bardenhewer, Otto, Patrology, tr. T. Shahan. Herder, 1908

CONTENT

This book was inspired by a lengthy argument between a Christian and a Jewish convert, which suffered from the interruptions of ignorant bystanders.(1.1) Tertullian decided to settle the question in writing, with biblical references, to avoid confusing possible converts.

The argument:

• Christians have taken over from the Jews as the people of God.

• The gradual revelation of God’s law in the Old Testament

• The New Covenant replaces it: circumcision, observance of the Sabbath and the temple sacrifices belong to the past.

• Jesus is the Messiah (proven from Daniel) (1.3)

Missing is the traditional argument from prophecy. The last 6 chapters add this.(9.1)

OTHER POINTS OF INTEREST

• He calculates the seventy weeks of Daniel’s prophecy (Daniel 9. 24) as ending with the destruction of the Temple in the first year of the reign of Vespasian.(8.1ff) A contemporary disagreed : for him the seventy weeks ended with the tenth year of Septimius Severus and the coming of the Antichrist was at hand. (Eusebius, HE VI.7)

• He refers to the spread of Christianity into all nations, among them Roman Britain:”…the haunts of the Britons – inaccessible to the Romans, but subjugated to Christ…” (ch. 7).

However it should be said that the sentence is a rhetorical one, and the remoteness of Britain is perhaps a literary commonplace (after all at this date Britannia had been a Roman province for nearly two centuries!) While Britain may be of special interest to us, it was hardly so to Tertullian, forming only a couple of words in a lengthy but vague sentence in a work devoted to something else entirely.

It would be unsafe to conclude from this passage that Tertullian had anything more than anecdotal knowledge of Christianity in Britain. But then again, it would equally be unsafe to say that he did not – who knows? Interesting, not improbable, but really suggesting only that at least some Christians thought they could safely say this without risk of dishonesty.

STUDIES (Unchecked)

1. H. TränkleQ. S. F. Tertulliani Adversus Judaeos (1964), xxxvi; lii.

2. A. L. Williams, Adversus Judaeos (1935), 52.

Notes (Unchecked)

1. G.Quispel, De bronnen van Tertullianus’ Aduersus Marcionem, 1943, p.61-79, from CCL II p 1338.

MANUSCRIPTS

This work is preserved in a number of manuscripts.  It is contained in the members of the Cluny collection. (q.v.). 

The primary witnesses, therefore, are:

• The Payerne MS, Codex Paterniacensis 439 (P), now at Selestat. (From the Alpha branch)

• The 15th century Florence MS, Codex Florentinus BNC Conventi soppressi J.6. 9 (N). (From the Alpha branch).  The text is not in the remaining portion of M, the earlier codex from which N was copied.  [I don’t know if there are readings from D or G for this work]

• The 15th century Luxembourg MS, Codex Luxemburgensis 75 (X).

• The 15th century(1426) Florence MS, Codex Florentinus BNC Conventi soppressi J.6.10 (F).

• Rhenanus edition of 1521.  This is because his only source for this work was the now lost Hirsau MS (H), the ancestor of F and X.

Possibly also to be considered are:

• The Naples MS, Codex Neapolitanus, Mus. Naz. 55, portions of which were once in Vienna as Codex Vindobonensis 4194 (V).

• The BPL Leiden MS, Codex Leidensis latinus 2 (L)has been considered independent but is merely a copy of V.

which may or may not have some independent witness.  Many consider them simply copies of F, however.

Also, the work is contained in a number of additional witnesses:

• The 7th century Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale Lat. 13047, containing extracts related to the lost Fulda manuscript.

• The 12th century fragment, Hamburg Cod. in scrinio 31,7. (Adv. Iud. ?), descended from BN13047.

• The 12th century fragment, Copenhagen Bibl. Roy. GKS 1341 4°. (Adv. Iud. ?), descended from BN13047.

• The 12th century Codex Trecensis 523 (T).

Finally the lost Codex Fuldensis of the Apologeticum also contained this work; a collation of the text made against the Barraeus edition was printed in the Junius edition.

TITLE VARIATIONS5)http://www.tertullian.org/manuscripts/title_variations.htm

INCIP ADVERSVS IVDEOS EIVSDE Paterniacensis 439 (P)
INCIP TERTVLLIANI LIB ADVERSVS IVDEOS Florentinus Magliebechianus, Conventi soppressi VI, 9 (N),
. Florentinus Magliebechianus, Conventi soppressi VI, 10 (F)
FINIT ADVSVS IVDEOS Trecensis 523 (T)
Contra Iudaeos Fuldensis (lost), according to the old library catalogue of the 16th century (c.f.
. C.Schrader apud F.Falk, Beitrage zur Rekonstruktion der alten bibliotheca
. Fuldensis, Leiden 1902, p. 106),
. Parisinus Latinus 13047 (C9-10)

Note: The MSS have the over-score above the letter, but this will only be visible in modern browsers (N4+/IE4+). It signifies an abbreviation.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

This runs up to 1955.  Where not otherwise indicated, details are from Quasten’s Patrology, 2 (1955). See also Editions page and Critical Editions page for more information, particularly on collected editions of more than one work.

EDITIONS: 

A. KROYMANN, CSEL 70 (1942) 251-331. Checked.

A. KROYMANN, CCSL 2 (1954) 1337-1398. Checked. Reprint.

H. TRÄNKLE, Q. S. F. Tertulliani Aduersus Iudaeos, Wiesbaden (1984). Checked.  Latin text online.

TRANSLATIONS: 

English: 

S. THELWALLANCL 18 (1870) pp.201-258; reprinted ANF 3 (1885), pp. 151-173.  Online.  Checked.

Geoffrey DUNN, Tertullian, The Early Church Fathers, London/New York:Routledge (2004). pp.63-104.  Checked.

French:

A. DE GENOUDEContre les Juifs, Tertullien-Oeuvres, Paris (1852).  t.3, pp.1-50. Online. Checked.

German: 

H. KELLNERGegen die JudenBKV7 (1912). 300-323. Checked. (Personal copy)  Online.  (ch.1-8 only).

Regina HAUSES, Tertullian, Gegen die Juden / Adversus Iudaeos. Series: Fontes Christiani …. (Details from publisher).

Dutch: 

H. U. MEYBOOM, Tegen de Joden (Oudchristelijke geschriften, di. 42). Leiden, 1924.

Italian: 

C. MORESCHINI, Opere scelte di Quinto Settimo Florente Tertulliano. (Classici UTET). Turin, 1974. (Details from CTC 99, 5).

Spanish: 

Alfonso ROPERO, Lo Mejor de Tertuliano ; compilado por: Alfonso Ropero. Terrassa : Clie (2001). 335 p. : il. ; 24 cm. ISBN: 84-8267-206-1(cart.). Series: Grandes autores de la fe Patrística 4.  Contains: Apología contra los gentiles (Apol.); Exhortación a los mártires (Exort); La virtud de la paciencia (Pat); La oración (Orat); La respuesta a los judíos (Jud). (Details Biblioteca de Catalunya, personal copy).  pp.267-330.  Checked.

STUDIES: 

E. NÖLDECHEN, Tertullians Gegen die Juden auf Einheit, Echtheit, Entstehung geprüft (TU 12, 2). Leipzig, 1894.

J. M. EINSIEDLER, De Tertullian; adversus Judaeos libro. Diss. Würzburg, 1897.

M. AKERMANN, Über die Echtheit der letzteren Hälfte von Tertullians Adversus Judaeos. Lund, 1918.

H. KOCH, ThStKr (1929) 462-469.

A. L. WILLIAMSAdversus Judaeos. A Bird’s-Eye View of Christian ‘Apologiae’ until the Renaissance. Cambridge, 1935, 43-52.  Checked. Now online.

L. BROU, Un passage de Tertullien (Adv. Judaeos 9) conservé dans un répons pour la fête de St. Jean-Baptiste: EL 52 (1938) 237-257.

B. CAPELLE, Bull, de théol. anc. et méd. 4 (1943) 8f.

G.QUISPEL, De Bronnen van Tertullianus’ Adversus Marcionem. Leiden, 1943, 61-79. Cf. J. BORLEFFS, VC 1 (1947) 195 f.

M. SIMON, Verus Israël. Étude sur les relations entre chrétiens et Juifs dans l’empire romain. Paris, 1948.

Claude AZIZA, Tertullien et le judaïsme. [Paris]: Belles Lettres (1977). v, 327p; 20cm. Series: Publications de la Faculté des lettres et sciences humaines de Nice; 16.  • Originally presented as the author’s thesis, Nice, 1972. Bibliography: p. 319-322. Includes indexes. (Details CUL)

G.D. DUNN, Two goats, two advents and Tertullian’s Adversus Iudaeos.  Augustinianum 39 (1999), pp. 245-264.  (Details CTC 99, 32).

G.D. DUNN, Tertullian and Daniel 9:24-27 – A patristic interpretation of a prophetic time- frame. Zeitschrift für Antikes Christentum 6 (2002), pp.330-344. (Details CTC 2002).

G.D. DUNN, “Probabimus venisse eum iam”: The fulfilment of Daniel’s prophetic time-frame in Tertullian’s Adversus Iudaeos, Zeitschrift für Antikes Christentum 7 (2003), pp. 140-150.  (Details CTC 2003, 23).

Fabio RUGGIERO, Chiesa e Sinagoga in Tertulliano.  Quaderni di San Sigismundo 4 (2003), pp.51-9. (Details CTC 2003,46).

References   [ + ]

1. see details Barnes, Timothy D. Tertullian: A Historical and Literary Study. Rev. ed. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1985 (1971 1st edn). 320 pages, 2 page ancient author index, 10 page subject/name index, 22 page bibliography and 1 page chronological table. 
2. see details Quasten, J. Patrology, Vol II, Christian Classics library.
3. 1. G.Quispel, De bronnen van Tertullianus’ Aduersus Marcionem, 1943, p.61-79, from CCL II p 1338.
4. see details and Bardenhewer, Otto, Patrology, tr. T. Shahan. Herder, 1908
5. http://www.tertullian.org/manuscripts/title_variations.htm

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *