Adversus Judaeos
(Against the Jews)

[CPL 33]

Latin: Tränkle, 1964 --- English: Thelwall, 1870 --- French: Genoude, 1852 --- German: Kellner, 1912 [only cc.1-8]

Summary Content Other points of interest Manuscripts Title variations Bibliography


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


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.B 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 characteristicQ. This suggests a later hand added them. It has been suggested 1 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.o


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:

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


Studies (Unchecked)

1. H. Tränkle, Q. 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.


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:

Possibly also to be considered are:

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:

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.


INCIP TERTVLLIANI LIB ADVERSVS IVDEOS Florentinus Magliebechianus, Conventi soppressi VI, 9 (N),
Florentinus Magliebechianus, Conventi soppressi VI, 10 (F)
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 overscore above the letter, but this will only be visible in modern browsers (N4+/IE4+). It signifies an abbreviation.


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.


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 (1964). CheckedLatin text online.


English: S. THELWALL, ANCL 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 GENOUDE, Contre les Juifs, Tertullien-Oeuvres, Paris (1852).  t.3, pp.1-50. Online. Checked.
German: H. KELLNER, Gegen die Juden, BKV2 7 (1912). 300-323. Checked. (Personal copy)  Online.  (ch.1-8 only).
-- Regina HAUSES, Tertullian, Gegen die Juden / Adversus Iudaeos. Series: Fontes Christiani .... .
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.


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. WILLIAMS, Adversus 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).

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