Journal of Theological Studies, 11 (1909-11), 140-142

Q. Septimi Florentis Tertulliani De Baptimo, edited with an Introduction and Notes by J. M. LUPTON. (Cambridge University Press, 1908.)


This review is by Alexander Souter. In the original it is all one paragraph, but I have taken pity on you and split it into a number of paragraphs.


MR LUPTON's volume is the weakest of the series of Cambridge Patristic Texts. It is but fair to state that he is himself conscious that he is not qualified for his task, but unfortunately for his modesty the series in which his book appears has gained a high reputation, and deservedly, for the scholarly finish of its contributions. Beside these his own work is decidedly amateurish. The edition is not useless. We are glad to have Dr James's notes of the probable meaning of ‘Masburensis’ as the name of the religious house from which Leland obtained a MS of the De Baptismo for Gelenius; some of the notes are good, and the index of words, pending the appearance of the much desired Lexicon Tertullianeum, is welcome.

The following defects, however, will sufficiently shew the character of the book. On p. xiv Jerome is quoted by Martianay's edition, instead of Vallarsi's, and thus letter 69, actually cited by that number on p. xxiv, appears as letter 82: also p. 285 of the treatise against Vigilantius is referred to, a reference very difficult to verify, presumably because the page is Martianay's : it would have been much better to say § 8, at the same time indicating that two clauses are omitted from the quotation. Why refer on p. xxiv to Collombet, which he probably rightly calls ‘a disappointing work’ when he might have referred to Turmel's Saint Jerome p. 221 ff and Grützmacher's Hieronymus Bd. iii 141 ff? On p. xxv ‘Leipoldt’ appears as ‘Leipold’, a carelessness comparable to that by which ‘Gomperz’, appears some half a dozen times as ‘Gompertz’, The suggestion on p. xxvi that Tertullian may have known Hebrew will be scouted by most. The use of the word ‘practically’, .on p; xxxi, 1. 4 shews unpardonable ignorance of the state of research into the Latin Bible. On the same page, too, the editor appears quite unaware of the elementary principle that there was no translation from the Hebrew into Latin till Jerome's. On p. xxx probabilis and habilis should not have been instanced as examples of well-known tendencies of silver Latin, since they occur already in Cicero. On p. xxxv 1880 is given as the date of the first volume of the Vienna Tertullian, but on p. xliv rightly 1890.

The bibliography on p. xxxvii ff is long, but is not compiled with discretion. There is no mention there of Rigalt, the most learned editor Tertullian ever had, nor do we find any reference to Prof. J. E. B.Mayor's notes on Tertullian's Apology in the Journal of Philology vol. xxi p. 259 ff, though he is probably the greatest living authority on Tertullian. The editor knows only the first edition of Bardenhewer's Patrologie. A Cambridge man ought not to have left out J. J. Blunt's Right Use of the Early Fathers, and there should have been a special section there devoted to editions, if it had contained little else but references to Schoenemann's Bibliotheca Patrum t. i p. 9 ff, and the full bibliography in Mayor's Bibliographical Clue to Latin Literature p. 163 ff. Again, in the section on Language, &c., it is absurd to call special attention to Ebert and Koffmane while leaving Hoppe unasterisked. Kaulen's Handbuch z. Vulgata appeared in a second edition in 1904, but it was not worth mentioning at all.

The note on Caina haeresi in chapter i displays little judgement: we must follow the best authorities in reading Gaiana, and the one possible explanation of this word is a heresy taught by one Gaius, whether he of Rome or not, uiderint editores. There appears to have been a confusion in later authorities with Cain, but until we have a critical edition of Jerome we cannot appeal to his text with confidence.

On pp. 3, I. II, 5 sed enim deserved a note; compare Mayor's Pliny's Letters Bk. III p. viii and add Stat. ten times (e.g. silu. III I,123). The account of tinguo on p.3 is unsatisfactory : the editor ought to have told us whether baptizo occurs in Tertullian or not. Oehler has no instance in his index, but the Thesaurus gives one, in addition to two in quoting 1 Cor. xv 29. Our editor gives fifty examples of tinguo in his index. A study of Engelbrecht's chapter on ‘Das Nomen suggestus in seinen verschiedenen Verwendungen bei Tertullian’ in Wiener Studien xxviii (1906) pp. 9-17 would have put him right on pages 4 and 6. Harnack's History of Dogma is repeatedly referred to as History of Doctrine. Medeor with the accusative (p. 14, 9) deserved a note. On p. 17, 5 superuentero, &c., are an echo of Luke i 35 or Ac. i. 8. On agape (p. 27, 11) a reference to the fact that it is kept in the Cyprianic Bible in 1 Cor. xiii might have been given. On p. 48, 10 for ‘altchr.’ (alt.) read ‘altkirchl.’

This book is strongest on the doctrinal side, though the teaching of the Ambrosian De Mysteriis and De Sacrementis should have been referred to in the Introduction, § 4. If the editor consults Resch's Agrapha, he will see how wrong he is over p. 56, 7. On p. 57, 4 a reference should have been made to Robinson in Texts and Studies vol. i part 2 p. 49. Other defects of this book, of greater or less seriousness, have been noticed.

Mr Lupton has failed to realize that the editor of Tertullian requires a severer training than that of any other Latin prose author. He has the requisite interest in his subject. After he has spent several years in rigorous study of the later Latin and of the Latin versions of the Bible, we shall be glad to welcome further work at his hands.

ALEX. SOUTER


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