Journal of Theological Studies, New Series 5 (1954), pp.267


Tertullian's Tract on the Prayer: the Latin text with critical notes,
    an English translation, an introduction, and explanatory ob-
    servations by ERNEST EVANS. Pp. xx+69. London: S.P.C.K.,
    1953. 12s. 6d.

DR. EVANS has followed his adversus Praxean with this well printed and
well arranged edition of the earliest extant commentary on the Pater-
noster. His opinion in judging Tertullian's Latin is weighty, and this
book is distinguished by its sober editing of the text. No doubt this con-
veniently slim volume is not meant to compete with the 312 pages of
Diercks's commentary (1947), in which much learning is made difficult
of access to those whose Dutch is slight; in respect of the subject-matter
of the treatise and its background Dr. Evans's explanatory observations,
though always valuable, do not say all that could be said. His main
interest has evidently been to further the study of the Latin text. The
preservation of the treatise has been tenuous: the tradition rests upon
three manuscripts; one is now lost, and none of them contains the entire
work. Dr. Evans is conservative, and despite the deficiencies of the
tradition usually tends to uphold the manuscript reading against the
corrections of Reifferscheid and other modern editors. Often this con-
servatism seems justified, e.g. i, 2 utrumque. But I doubt the claims of
the manuscript reading substantia passionis against Ursinus's correction
sub instantiam passionis at iv, 21; cf. de Anima lvi (C.S.E.L. xx. 389. 19)
instantia funeris. Some of Dr. Evans's conjectures are noteworthy, e.g.
at xvii, 3 and xviii, 5, and there are some interesting places where he and
Diercks have come to make the same proposals independently.


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