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Quotes of Tertullian

This post is also available in: Polish (polski)

Tertullian

Tertullian (Quintus Septimus Florens Tertullianus) lived around 150-240 CE. He was a Latin theologian from North Africa who converted to Christianity in 190 CE. Then he became his most zealous apologist at the time. Tertullian’s teaching is a valuable resource for theology, especially for dogmatic theology.

  • “What indeed has Athens to do with Jerusalem? What concord is there between the Academy and the Church? what between heretics and Christians?”
    • description: Tertullian was radically dissociating from the ancient tradition.
    • source: Tertullian, Prescription Against Heretics 7
  • “For what is there more unfair than to hate a thing of which you know nothing, even though it deserve to be hated?”
    • source: Tertullian, Apology, 1
  • “And the Son of God died; it is [utterly] credible, because it is unfitting; and he was buried and rose again; it is certain, because it is impossible”
    • latin: [Et mortuus est Dei Filius, prorsus credibile est, quia ineptum est. Et sepultus resurrexit; certum est, quia impossibile est]
    • source: Tertullian, De Carne Christi 5
  • “As far as I know, you are not inherently Christian. The soul can become Christian, but it is not born Christian”
    • source: Tertullian, On the Testimony of the Soul 1
  • “The curse God pronounced on your sex still weighs on the world. …You are the devil’s gateway… You are the first that deserted the divine laws. All too easily you destroyed the image of God, Adam. Because you deserved death, it was the son of God who had to die”
    • description: about women.
    • source: Tertullian, On Women’s Clothing, 1:1
  • “The blood of Christians is effective seed”
    • latin: [Semen est sanguis christianorum!]
    • source: Tertullian, Apologeticus, 50:13
  • “The testimony of the soul by nature Christian!”
    • latin: [O testimonium animae naturaliter Christianae!]
    • source: Tertullian, Apologeticus, XVII, 6
  • “Men more easily believe the evil that is false, than the good which is true”
    • source: Tertullian, Ad Nationes, I, VII
  • “[This] is certain because [it] is impossible”
    • latin: [Certum est, quia impossibile est]
    • description: regarding the resurrection of Jesus
    • source: Tertullian, De Carne Christi, V
  • “Prayer is the one thing that can conquer God”
    • source: Tertullian, On Prayer
  • “Surely it is obvious enough, if one looks at the whole world, that it is becoming daily better cultivated and more fully peopled than anciently. All places are now accessible, all are well known, all open to commerce; most pleasant farms have obliterated all traces of what were once dreary and dangerous wastes; cultivated fields have subdued forests; flocks and herds have expelled wild beasts; sandy deserts are sown; rocks are planted; marshes are drained; and where once were hardly solitary cottages, there are now large cities. No longer are (savage) islands dreaded, nor their rocky shores feared; everywhere are houses, and inhabitants, and settled government, and civilized life. What most frequently meets our view (and occasions complaint), is our teeming population: our numbers are burdensome to the world, which can hardly supply us from its natural elements; our wants grow more and more keen, and our complaints more bitter in all mouths, whilst Nature fails in affording us her usual sustenance. In very deed, pestilence, and famine, and wars, and earthquakes have to be regarded as a remedy for nations, as the means of pruning the luxuriance of the human race.”
    • source: Tertullian, On the Soul
  • “Blush for your vile ways before the Christians, who have not even the blood of animals at their meals of simple and natural food; who abstain from things strangled and that die a natural death, for no other reason than that they may not contract pollution…To clench the matter with a single example, you tempt Christians with sausages of blood, just because you are perfectly aware that the thing by which you thus try to get them to transgress they hold unlawful. And how unreasonable it is to believe that those, of whom you are convinced that they regard with horror the idea of tasting the blood of oxen, are eager after blood of men; unless, mayhap, you have tried it, and found it sweeter to the taste!”
    • source: Tertullian, Apologeticus, 9

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