Revue d'Histoire Ecclésiastique 56 (1961), pp.711-2
| -- On peut encore lire le De Resurrectione
Carnis de Tertullien avec beau-
coup de profit, par son argumentation serrée n'a rien perdu de sa force, et
les siècles n'ont que peu modifié les objections doctrinales. Le Rév. Ernest,
Dom Frédéric HOCKEY.
One can still read Tertullian's De Resurrectione Carnis with much profit, as its tight argumentation has not lost anything of its force, and the centuries have modified only little the doctrinal objections. Rev. Ernest, EVANS gives us a new edition with introduction, translation and commentary: Tertullian' s Treatise on the Resurrection (London, S.P.C.K., 1960. In-8, xxxvi-361 p. Prix: 50 s.). He has already published in the same way three other treaties of Tertullian (cfr RHE, 1957, T LII, p. 717); so it is with regret that we read in the foreword that we should not expect any more new work of this kind. That, however, does nothing but increase our gratitude, because to this work Dr. E has devoted all the time left over from his parochial ministry. He admits, in some notes, that he was aware even at university of certain difficulties and that he considered corrections. His work does not betray any haste, and we can only admire the caution with which he proposes improvements of text, and the modesty with which he accomodates the suggestions of more famous editors. He generally follows the text of Borleffs, while regretting the superfluous corrections and an excessive punctuation. On occasion he deviates from Oehler and Kroyman, and announces errors in the table of the first (p. 217). As in his preceding works, he can evaluate the textual difficulties by comparing them with parallel passages of Tertullian, that he knows thoroughly. The cautions expressed here on the received text are so numerous that in the future any editor will have to take account of them. The translation returns well what the language of Tertullian contains of legal terms, military, financial, etc; and the notes, on their side, help to clarify the various heretic positions on Christ, his body, our salvation (e.g. p. 195-6). The author presents excellent observations on the doctrines of the resurrection and its close connection with the unity of the divinity, on the corporeality of the soul (Ch 17), on the nature of paradise (Tertullian is not yet a montanist). In the second part of the work, where Tertullian studies the N.T. and especially St. Paul, the author has care to note up to what point Tertullian remains faithful to the Pauline doctrines, and for his text of the Epistles, he offers many remarks on the Latin terms employed to translate the Greek. He has certainly his own personal opinion on the quantity of readings disputed in this text, but he always advances them with calm and the modest reserve of someone who has lived a long time with a difficult author and lengthily contemplated on him, and which well realizes that with Tertullien the most difficult solution may often chance to be the right one. Thirty-five pages of introduction place the text in the context of the complete series of Tertullian's works, analyze the argument and attach it to the teaching of the apologists (Justin, Athenagoras, Theophilus and Irenaeus) on the same article of faith.
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